|Cypress seed pods in the Cal State Fullerton Arboretum|
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. Luke 17:14-16
How often does it happen that we do something generous for someone and they seem not to notice. They never thank us for what we did for them. In such situations it is difficult to maintain one's composure. We can focus on not being thanked and begin to feel taken for granted or disrespected. The focus becomes ungratefulness and its impact on me. "Look what I did and that person never thanked me!"
The gospel story is about the ten lepers whom Jesus cleansed of their leprosy, only one of whom returned to give him thanks and that one was a Samaritan, an outsider, a foreigner, a heretic. In the first reading, Naaman is cured of his leprosy by Elisha and returns to thank him with a gift, a gift that Elisha refuses. Paul writes in the second reading that even if we are unfaithful, Christ "remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself." It is not that that thankfulness is important to the healer, the giver but rather to the one who has been healed, the one who received the gift. When someone does something for me, it is not so important to them that I thank them but it is essential to me. That sense of gratefulness is to be part of my identity so that I cannot not thank someone because that is somehow who I am.
So it is between me and Christ and thus the Divine One. I have not been cured of leprosy. Perhaps the Divine One does not directly intervene in my life or any life. The fact that I am, that I have a life to begin with, is cause for gratitude and thankfulness. Not because the Divine One needs it or even wants it but because it is an indication that I have accepted and embraced my true nature. That is something the Divine One deeply desires.