(Sirach 50:22-24; I Corinthians 1:3-9; Luke 17:11-19)
A preacher tells of a brother in the Lord who urges him to be “more eucharistic.” Did his friend mean that he should attend mass more often? No, the preacher says, “he was simply urging me to be more thankful.” The Greek root for our word eucharist means thanksgiving. The leper in today’s gospel then in coming back to Jesus is truly acting eucharisticly.
The leper gives glory to God for a cure which Jesus performed. He is not thereby recognizing Jesus as the incarnate Son of God. But he is testifying to another theological insight: God works through secondary causes. Jesus as human has power to cure people physically as well as spiritually. This ability comes from God. Today it rests with physicians who perform virtual miracles in saving the lives of very sick patients.
We too should become more eucharistic. It is a way of life, of course, not a seasonal custom. We become eucharistic first by avoiding resentment with the disappointments we experience. Then we develop the nightly habit of naming a blessing of that day for which we give God thanks.