Reflections 13th October 2019

A Reflection for the twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Luke 17:  11-19 (

Use of the phrase Thank God was – and still is – so common among our people! Today’s Gospel presents a God who expects GRATITUDE from us, a God who feels disappointment when we are ungrateful. 

In the First Reading, Naaman, an Ethiopian leper, returned to thank Elisha, when he was cured in the Jordan river. In the Gospel today other lepers, 9 Jews and a Samaritan, believed that Jesus could heal them. They were respectful, obedient and trusting. Jesus did heal them. But the nine Jewish lepers just weren’t thankful. Only one of these lepers – a Samaritan foreigner – returned to thank Jesus for healing him.

To which group of these people do we belong? How many of us take the time to give constant thanks to Jesus?  Hopefully you are grateful enough to God to give Him Eucharistic thanks each weekend – as He asked you to when he said Do this in memory of Me

In the Old Testament praise rather than thanksgiving is stressed. But in the New Testament a new expression for thanksgiving – eucharistia – is used over 60 times, as if to show the originality and importance of Christian thanksgiving.

The perfect expression of Christian thanksgiving is the sacramental Eucharist, where we offer ourselves with Jesus to the Father. Here we share His divine life and re-charge our spiritual batteries; we thank Him for giving us His teaching, together with the guidance, inspiration and strengthening of His Holy Spirit.

We have lessons to learn from Naaman and this Samaritan leper. All of life must be permeated with an attitude of thanksgiving or else we will never become the men and women, the followers of Jesus, that we can become. As St. Paul says to us, "Learn to be grateful" (Col. 3:15).      

We must then go forth from the Mass and express our thanks to God by sharing our time, talents and material blessings with others. Lord Jesus, help us to be thankful, eucharistic people!            

John Flavin C.S.Sp.  - Fr. John was ordained in 1964. Having worked in education for many years in Sierra Leone and in Ireland and for five years in administration in the Spiritan Generalate in Rome, he is now doing chaplaincy work in Dublin.