Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. That’s the best way to ensure a rich harvest in the garden of life. How often do you see people who are not grateful for what they have or what they receive? In our world today, so many of us are caught up with getting what we want. We’re never satisfied with what we already have. And when we get what we want…… we just want more. We don’t stop and say “thank you” for what we receive. With this attitude it’s no wonder why so many people today are unhappy. Because there is never enough for them, and there never will be.
Today’s Gospel reading is familiar to us all…. the story of the 10 lepers healed by Jesus. To be a leper in Jesus’ day was one of the worst fates. They were separated from society because their disease was contagious. But there was also a social stigma, since the people in Jesus’ time thought that disease was a punishment from God for sin. Jesus wants to counter the cultural thought that illness is a sign of sin; at the same time he wants to demonstrate the power of God.
Who was the leper who comes back to thank Jesus? It was a Samaritan. Remember, Samaritans were looked down upon by the Jews, and yet only this foreigner has returned to give thanks. The other nine lepers took it for granted that they had been cured, and did not return to express gratitude.
Stewardship appreciates that everything we are and everything we accomplish is done with God’s help and blessings. As Catholic mystic Thomas Merton said, “To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us – and He has given us everything.” It was the faith and gratitude of the thankful leper which distinguished him. We need to aspire to that same level of faith.
Tony Cooper-Stewardship and Development