“Were Not Ten Cleansed? Where are the Nine?” | iPray with the Gospel
As Jesus entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then said Jesus, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”
It’s interesting to see that Jesus missed a bit of gratitude from these lepers. They came to be healed. They made a long journey, suffered a lot, called out to Jesus for healing and Jesus healed them. After that only one came back. Jesus didn’t perform the miracle to be thanked, but He did miss the lepers’ appreciation. “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?” How easily we can ‘use’ God like this: We ask Him to do something for us and when He gives it, we take it for granted. How many gifts of God we can take for granted: your life, your family, your talents, your health, the fact that you can read, talk, listen, see, walk…
There is a story of a father of a poor family with many problems who started asking God for help. God put an Angel in charge to look after that family and immediately the situation started to change: financially all was sorted out, his children stopped using drugs, they began to go to Mass on Sunday and to be generous collaborators of charities. They had everything they wanted… but they weren’t happy. When the man was on his deathbed, the Angel appeared before him and asked ‘Have you and those you love been happy?’ ‘No’, answered the desolate old man, ‘We have everything and are incomparably better off than before… but we still are not happy. Why?’ The Angel replied, ‘I have given you all you asked for. But there is a most important gift that you never requested: the gift of gratitude. You learned how to give, how to share your things with others. But you never learned to be grateful. And without gratitude, you take everything for granted, you don’t enjoy what you have as gifts; without gratitude there is no happiness’. Mary, Cause of our joy, teach me to be grateful.
Rev. George Boronat M.D. S.T.D is a Catholic priest from the Prelature of Opus Dei, working in the Archdiocese of Southwark in London. He is the Chaplain of The Cedars Independent School in Croydon, and also works as Chaplain of Kelston Club & Study Centre (Balham) and Oakwood Independent School (Purley). He has developed his pastoral ministry mainly with young people and is the author of iPray with the Gospel: Resources to Help Young People Pray (www.ipraywiththegospel.org).