Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin (Memorial)
One of them, realizing he had been healed, returned.
Why do humans everywhere give gifts to each other? Probably for two reasons. First, we give gifts to one another as a sign of our love and affection. We are grateful for their role in our lives, and we want to show them how much they mean to us. Second, gifts are also a way to cement or deepen our relationships with our loved ones. A woman wears the necklace her husband bought her because it reminds her of his love, and it endears him to her even more.
In today’s Gospel (Luke 17:15), Jesus gives a valuable gift to ten people who have a devastating disease—the gift of healing. He healed them because he loved them, and he wanted to do something good for them—the first reason for any gift. But it seems that only one of these ten grasped the second reason for this gift; he’s the only one who came back to thank Jesus and offer him worship. Out of all of these people, only this fellow understood that Jesus was inviting him to a closer relationship with him.
The same holds true today. God has given us many, many gifts: friends, family, a unique set of talents and abilities, his Church, and various signs of his love and presence in our lives. God has given all of them to us freely, out of love and a desire to draw us closer to his heart. Each and every one of these gifts contains within it a special invitation for us to learn more about him and to deepen our relationship with him. His gift of family reveals his commitment to us; friends show us the joy we can have by just being with him; our talents move us to want to serve him; the Church provides a home for us to live with him. And the list goes on.
Today, think of the gifts that God has given to you. It can be something as small as a little answered prayer or as big as a miraculous healing. Take a moment to thank him for loving you in this way. Now, how can you love him in return?
“Lord, I thank you for all you have done in my life.”
Psalm 82:3-4, 6-7
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