As they were going they were cleansed. And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him (Lk 17:14-15). Ten were healed from their leprosy and only one, a Samaritan, after realizing he was healed, returned to thank Jesus.
It is a good practice to spend some time each day reflecting on what we are thankful for. Through this practice we can see where God has entered our lives and provided assistance, and we can better appreciate those who have been there for us not just in large but in small ways. At times when we feel a bit down and out, or in a bit of a funk, often the reason may be that we are focusing on what we do not have instead of on what we do. There is a quote, I am not sure of the source, that goes: “I cried because I had no shoes, and then I came upon a man with no feet.” We can be so bombarded by the mass appeal to the material, that we forget the truly important realities of this life that we have been given.
Times of family coming together can be wonderful and can also be a bit messy. There is all the cleaning, setting up and the prep for the big dinner, the travel, the unresolved issues of life, and there are the wonderful gifts of diverse personalities and points of view. If we can periodically stop, take a breath, and be thankful for the fact that we have families and friends to be messy and grumble with, we might appreciate each other a bit more this day.
As Jesus reminds us, we do not know the time or the hour. Life is fragile even in the best of scenarios, life is also finite. We will not be here forever. November is a time in the Church when we remember those who have joined the communion of saints. I know many that have lost family members and grieve their loss. I continue to join them. We can take confidence in the fact that death does not have the final answer or say, Jesus does. May we remember our beloved through pictures and stories shared on this day when we stop to give thanks. My heart continues to ache but I am beyond grateful for the time that JoAnn and I spent together.
Jesus, help us to remember that life is a gift. Help us to appreciate and be thankful for our life and the lives of those near and far we are blessed to call family and friends. Help us to also be thankful for the lives of those that have had an impact upon and shaped us that are no longer with us in this life. Help us to also remember and pray for those who may be alone, struggling, or without food and home this day.
Photo: JoAnn and me at my maternal grandparents for Thanksgiving maybe about 15 years ago…