the 90% congregation
"Where are the other nine?" —Luke 17:17
The Samaritan leper ignores Jesus' command to go show himself to the priest. He follows his heart and not Jesus' order. In so doing, he commits an act of "religious disobedience." Presumably, when told to go his way by Jesus (Lk 17:19), he does follow Jesus' command and shows himself to the priests. This was the prescription given for healed lepers in the law of Moses (Lv 13:9-13). Jesus approves of a grateful heart, telling the healed man that his faith, expressed by praise and thanksgiving (Lk 17:15, 18), has been his salvation (Lk 17:19).
Jesus also asks the whereabouts of the other nine men (Lk 17:17). Could He be asking the same question of the congregation in our Mass today? Are most people in your congregation simply fulfilling their Sunday obligation to obey the Church? Are ninety-percent of the people in your parish attending Mass on "auto-pilot" to mechanically "pray, pay, and obey"? Jesus works many healings through reception of the Eucharist, so attending Mass is always a worthy act, even if done mechanically.
The word Eucharist means "thanksgiving." Therefore, praise, glorify, and thank the Lord today. "Dedicate yourselves to thankfulness" (Col 3:15). Continue to obey the Lord and His Church, but do so with gladness (Ps 100:2), praise (Ps 98:4), and thanksgiving (Col 3:17). Prostrate yourself before the Lord and thank Him.
Prayer: Father, let there be an epidemic of praise and thanksgiving in Your Church, "and let it begin with me."
Promise: "There is no chaining the word of God!" —2 Tm 2:9
Praise: Risen Jesus, I fall on my face at Your feet and speak Your praises. All praise, honor, thanksgiving, and glory be to You!
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
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Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 31, 2016
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