As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem,
he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.
As he was entering a village, ten persons with leprosy met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying,
“Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!”
And when he saw them, he said,
“Go show yourselves to the priests.”
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.
He was a Samaritan.
Jesus said in reply,
“Ten were cleansed, were they not?
Where are the other nine?
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”
Then he said to him, “Stand up and go;
your faith has saved you.”
The story of the ten lepers is a famous story of ingratitude. One was grateful. Nine could give a damn that God had healed them. It is easy to cast our stones at those nine lepers for their ingratitude, yet most of us are no different. God blesses us in many ways, yet we could give a damn.
I always think of the nine lepers and the one grateful leper at the end of each Mass. I have made it a practice to get on my knees at the conclusion of each Mass and thank God for his immense goodness to my wife and me. I also conclude each day by thanking God for that day even if the day was lousy. I know everything is for my good and for the good of all those who love the Lord. We don't always see that goodness in the present, but we will later at His return.
I am grateful to God for many things. I am grateful for the woman He put in my life who took pity on me and loved me. Through her, He reached me and still continues to teach me and bless me. No amount of wealth or power can compare to the treasure of having a good wife. There is nothing in this world I would take for her. And I thank her for loving me so much.
I am grateful to Our Lady for her blessed intercession for me. Her prayers for me are what brought me out of the abyss of atheism and nihilism. Her prayers continue to assist me as I grow in grace. I am grateful for the intercession of all the saints and holy souls who pray for me each day. Thank you so much.
I am grateful for all my brothers and sisters in the Lord who have prayed for me, taught me, and assisted me in so many ways. Whether they were Catholic and Protestant, they have demonstrated to me that true faith is exemplified in charity. Thank you so much for all that you have done for me.
I am grateful that I live in the United States of America. I don't think our country is in the best shape at the moment, but I still think it is the greatest place to live on this globe. I thank God that I am an American. May God continue to bless us.
Finally, I am most grateful to God Almighty. God was good to me when I was not good to Him. I think of all the countless ways that I have offended Him in all my thoughts, words, and deeds, and I thank Him for forgiving me and showing me the error of my ways. I thank Him for not just the good times but also the trials and sufferings I have endured. Through them, God has blessed me in many ways. I thank you, Lord, for not giving me what I deserve and for giving me what I did not deserve. Your grace and mercy are a wonder to me.
I am the tenth leper. Everything I have and am that is good is because of God. I fail in many ways, but I will not fail in my gratitude. I could not heal myself. God healed me. He sustains me. I have faith that He will perfect me. For that, I will praise Him and thank Him forever.