THE APOSTLES ASKED JESUS to increase their faith.  But He replied:

“If you have faith even like a mustard seed, you will say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.”

“But which of you is there, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, who will say to him on his return from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table!’ But will he not say to him, ‘Prepare my supper, and gird thyself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk; and afterwards thou thyself shalt eat and drink’?”

“Does he thank that servant for doing what he commanded him?  I do not think so.  Even so you also, when you have done everything that was commanded you, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what it was our duty to do.”

At that time Jesus had completed His tour of Perea, crossed the Jordan, and was traveling southward through Samaria on His lengthy and circuitous journey to Jericho and Jerusalem.

As He was about to enter a village, He was accosted by ten lepers.  They were considered as complete outcasts, and the Law strictly regulated their conduct  Calling from afar, they begged Jesus to have pity on them.  Jesus replied briefly:

“Go, show yourselves to the priests.”

He referred to the prescription of the Law that the cure of a leper should be certified by the priests.  At that moment, indeed, the lepers saw no evidence that they had been cured.  But as they went, their sores healed and their bodies were once more clean and healthy.

One of them, a Samaritan, when he saw he was healed, returned at once, glorifying God, and cast himself down before Christ and thanked Him.  Then Jesus said:

“Were not the ten made clean?  But where are the nine?  Has no one been found to return and give glory to God except this foreigner?”

And He said to the grateful Samaritan:

“Arise, go thy way, for thy faith has saved thee.”

Luke 17:5-19

Meditation:  Humility and gratitude go hand in hand.  The proud man can never be truly grateful.  When I receive small favors do I really feel gratitude in my heart or do I rather take it for granted that such courtesies should be accorded me?  The holding of an open door, the making of a little extra room for me on a crowded bus, the kindly service of a salesgirl–do I appreciate these things and display a sincere gratitude, or do I sail through these experiences totally unmindful of the added effort they may be on the part of others?

Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today”  The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959.  173-174.   © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Martin, following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953.  Print.   Drawing by Albert H Winkler.

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