Read­ing Time: 3 minutes



Luke 17:11–19 is a fur­ther cla­ri­fic­a­tion of the Gos­pel of last Sunday (Luke 17:5–10). Jesus is gradu­ally approach­ing Jer­u­s­alem hence the pres­ence of the lepers should not be a sur­prise. That the lepers stood far off should not be a sur­prise as well, since the lepers them­selves know that the law obliged them to keep their dis­tance due to their phys­ic­al con­di­tion. They must remain sep­ar­ated from the rest of the soci­ety (cf. Lev 13:45–46). It is curi­ous to note that the lepers though segreg­ated, found solid­ar­ity among them­selves. The decision to move as a group in sup­plic­at­ing Jesus’ mercy is worth men­tion­ing. United we stand, divided we not only fall, but we also clash.

Concerning ingratitude

Then Jesus asked, were not ten made clean? But the oth­er nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this for­eign­er?” (Luke 17:17–18). Due to their ingrat­it­ude, the oth­er nine lepers (prob­ably Jews) went home phys­ic­ally healed but spir­itu­ally sick and unsaved. We must avoid ingrat­it­ude because as J. Thom­son puts it, “ingrat­it­ude is treas­on to man­kind.” In his clas­sic­al work De Bene­fi­ciis (III,1), Lucius Annaeus Seneca gives a beau­ti­ful descrip­tion of an ungrate­ful per­son. Hear him: “Ingratus est, qui bene­fi­ci­um accepisse se negat, quod accepit: ingratus est, qui dis­sim­u­lat; ingratus, qui non red­dit; ingra­tis­simus omni­um, qui oblitus est – He is ungrate­ful who denies that he has received a kind­ness which has been bestowed upon him; he is ungrate­ful who con­ceals it; he is ungrate­ful who makes no return for it; most ungrate­ful of all is he who for­gets it.” Every kind­ness must be acknow­ledged, made known, returned (shared) and remembered. It is the only way to propag­ate the good­ness of God. Among the sins we con­fess, we must include ingrat­it­ude. Our soci­ety is infec­ted with a lot of ingrat­it­ude and ingrates. Like Naa­man (cf. First Read­ing), the Samar­it­an went back to thank God for heal­ing him and restor­ing his health and hap­pi­ness, and Jesus appre­ci­ated it. His atti­tude is encouraging.

Conclusion – Showing gratitude

Unfor­tu­nately, many people are not aware that ingrat­it­ude is a griev­ous sin. There are people who arrog­antly pre­sume that oth­ers must do some­thing for them, and hence, they find it almost impossible to say “thank you.” Nobody owes you any­thing. Rather, you might be the per­son owing someone some­thing. Grat­it­ude is nor­mally a way of acknow­ledging and attract­ing divine bless­ing. Con­sequently, to thank a per­son who did some­thing for you no mat­ter how little is in fact, a way of thank­ing God who oper­ates in and through that per­son. Think about this! It needs faith to for­give sev­en times. It needs faith to come back and thank God for being healed. It also needs faith to say thank you for kind­ness received. Remem­ber, “grat­it­ude helps you to grow and expand; grat­it­ude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of all those around you” (E. Caddy). Again, as E. Tolle observes “it is through grat­it­ude for the present moment that the spir­itu­al dimen­sion of life opens up.” The story of the ten lepers is used by Jesus to con­demn the dis­crim­in­a­tion and injustice among believ­ers. Nobody should be segreg­ated due to sick­ness or whatever. There are series of dis­crim­in­a­tions in vari­ous Chris­ti­an denom­in­a­tions. The same story also serves to under­line the neces­sity of grat­it­ude and appre­ci­ation. It fur­ther shows that faith and obed­i­ence work together. 


SUNDAY REFLECTIONS” (vols. I‑II-III)!! The reflec­tion for the 28th Sunday is found in
The Word of Life, vol. III, pages 562–571. Happy reading!

For details on how to get it, con­tact the author on this link: https://m.me/uchennabiblia?fbclid=IwAR2yeg4a6sDGBp9QGkIvKj6FSADumMokN6lshdE0zuo-JHs6qOmlhA7jyHo
or email me at: postmaster@uchennabiblia.com
or simply send an SMS on 08116100926, and I will get back to you.

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