November 25, 2021
by Eileen Wirth
Creighton University - retired
click here for photo and information about the writer

Thanksgiving Day in the U.S.
Lectionary: 943-947

Sirach 50:22-24
Psalm 145:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Luke 17:11-19

For those celebrating Thursday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Beginning Advent

Preparing for Advent


Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Prayer in the days before Advent

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.
Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? 
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” 


Like many of you, I was raised to send thank you notes for EVERYTHING from gifts to hospitality. On this day of national thankfulness, I’m especially appalled by the nine ingrate lepers in Luke’s gospel who failed to return to thank Jesus.

How mortified their mothers must have been! Surely people in Biblical days were expected to express gratitude even without the help of Hallmark notecards and the Post Office.

But as I pondered the shameful nine cured lepers, I was embarrassed to discover that I have more in common with them than I like to admit. When I pray, I usually ask God for things instead of thanking him for my many gifts. Mea culpa.

Therefore, before plunging into today’s feeding frenzy, I want to give gratitude for blessings like health, living in our country, a great family, financial stability etc. that I only pay attention to when something goes wrong.

This is also a day to be thankful for people that I tend to take for granted just as the nine ingrate lepers took Jesus for granted.

As I write this, there’s a guy from my heating service fixing my furnace. He went out of his way to get a part needed to prevent a breakdown during the Nebraska winter ahead. If I weren’t writing this, would I recognize his gift of caring?

It’s easy to think of others such as the physical therapists who helped me through a painful bout of arthritis this summer or Karl, my peerless auto mechanic who keeps my 2013 Honda in great shape.

Then there’s Terry, my home handyman par excellence who responds rapidly to calls for help and can fix almost anything or my Creighton friends Rob and Brian who restore my computer-related life when problems arise. What would I do without them?

Although I’m completely inept when it comes to fixing anything mechanical or digital, God has given me rescuers. Deo gratias!

My list could go on and on but is shows that whatever our needs, we don’t get through life without the help of God and other people. So today, let’s all take a few minutes to meditate with gratitude on all our gifts from God, especially his gifts of caring people.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

P.S. I’m also very grateful to you readers who offer support and encouragement for these reflections.

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