Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Attitude of Gratitude Vs Attitude of Ingratitude:
In this Twenty Eight Sunday in Ordinary Time, the Holy Mother Church invites us to examine our lives and ask ourselves this very important question: Do we possess attitude of gratitude or attitude of ingratitude? Often, we take kindness and good gestures toward us for granted – either we do not think about them or we are totally ignorant of those virtues. A Latin phrase says, “Ignorantia Legis non excusat”, which means “The ignorance of the law is not an excuse”: so in this context, I would substitute it with “The ignorance of gratitude is not an excuse.” Virtues can be learned and even be acquired. What is important is that we do not become complacent and nonchalant towards these virtues and noble acts. How often do our kids take a gift from us or somebody and walk away? Is it something he learned from his parents or that he is not taught?
Today, the First reading from the 2 Kings and the Gospel of Luke demanded our attention to the value of gratitude in our daily lives. In the first reading, Naaman, a pagan officer in the court of the King of Egypt, after listening to the advice of his female servant, who also was an Israeli, obeyed the Man of God, Elisha, went and washed himself in the river Jordan seven times and his skin became as smooth as that of a baby. After washing himself his leprosy was healed. But the beautiful message here is that, Naaman did not take the mercy and kindness of God for granted. The Scripture tells us that, “Naaman returned with his whole retinue to the man of God. On his arrival he stood before Elisha and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel. Please accept a gift from your servant.”
Likewise, in the Gospel of Luke, our Lord Jesus Christ takes the importance of gratitude to a higher level, when ten lepers were in dire need of healing and he did heal them. But what happened next was a surprise! When they found out that they all have been healed, nine of them took God’s mercy and kindness for granted and forgot to say “Thank you”, but only one, a Samaritan, taught it wise to come back and expressed appreciation. The Gospel recorded thus: “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. 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?” Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.” Are you a person of gratitude or ingratitude? Pass gratitude on; it is a noble virtue.
Father Uche Obikwelu