Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Wednesday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time

(Titus 1:1-9; Luke 17:11-19)

The readings today indicate two responses to God’s graciousness.  The Letter to Titus recommends that Christians respect everyone by being peaceful and considerate.  Since Baptism has healed them of crude and spiteful behavior, they should try to win over others to Christ.  The gospel’s recommendation for expressing gratitude is more direct.  The tenth leper, healed of disease, returns to Jesus with thankfulness on his lips. 

Jesus is the central figure in both passages.  He is God’s instrument in the first reading.  Sharing in Jesus’ cross through Baptism, the Christian dies to sin.  Experiencing rebirth in the same baptismal waters, she now lives for God and not for self.  In the gospel Jesus pronounces physical healing for each of the ten lepers.  Then he announces salvation for the one who comes back to give thanks.

We are fast approaching the great American holiday of Thanksgiving and the joyful Christian feast of Christmas.  Both occasions invoke great amounts of gratitude.  Americans thank God for their remarkable prosperity.  We Christians raise our voices to God in highest praise for sending Jesus, our Redeemer.