Wednesday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Wednesday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 (Tit 3:1-7)

Beloved:
Remind them to be under the control of magistrates and authorities,
to be obedient, to be open to every good enterprise.
They are to slander no one, to be peaceable, considerate,
exercising all graciousness toward everyone.
For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, deluded,
slaves to various desires and pleasures,
living in malice and envy,
hateful ourselves and hating one another.

But when the kindness and generous love
of God our savior appeared,
not because of any righteous deeds we had done
but because of his mercy,
he saved us through the bath of rebirth
and renewal by the Holy Spirit,
whom he richly poured out on us
through Jesus Christ our savior,
so that we might be justified by his grace
and become heirs in hope of eternal life.

Gospel (17:11-19)

As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem,
he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.
As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying,
"Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!"
And when he saw them, he said,
"Go show yourselves to the priests."
As they were going they were cleansed.
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."


Written by: Fr. Anthony Dinh M. Tien, OP.

I. THEME: Gratitude

            Today, many people love dogs more than human beings because according to them, dogs are more thankful and loyal than men. For examples, people only need to give dogs some bones or food, they would continuously wave their tail to thank them. Moreover, many dogs even sacrifice their life to protect their owners from dangers. Meanwhile, people seem to be more and more ingratitude everyday. Some mothers, seeing their children treat them so unkindly, exclaimed, “If I know you turn out like this, I would rather give birth to an egg so I could boil and eat it.”

            People don’t like the ungrateful, but they are often ungrateful to God. Today readings invite people to reflect and to recognize what God has done for them, so that they know how to return their gratitude to God. In the first reading, St. Paul commanded Titus to teach the Cretans how to live a good life to thank God. In the Gospel, though Jesus healed ten lepers but only one came back to thank him, and he is the Samaritan. So Jesus exclaimed, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: Recognizing favors from God by comparing one’s life before and after conversion.

           

1.1/ Before their conversion: St. Paul used his experience to help the Cretans to examine of their past, “For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, deluded, slaves to various desires and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful ourselves and hating one another.” All people live in darkness because they don’t know what is right and have no power to resist temptations which come from the devil, the world and their flesh.

1.2/ After their conversion: The reason of their conversion isn’t on their own efforts, but on God’s mercy. God expressed His compassion and love for people by giving them two important gifts:

            (1) Christ: Human beings can’t do anything to be justify by themselves, but because of love, God gave them the Only Son, Jesus Christ, so that anyone who believes in Christ, shall be forgiven of their sins and become righteous.

            (2) The Holy Spirit: Through Baptism, God gave the Holy Spirit to people so that they can be reborn and renew. St. Paul expressed simply these two gifts as follow, “He saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He richly poured out on us through Jesus Christ our savior, so that we might be justified by His grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.”

            To thank all God’s grace, the faithful must live a good life with others. St. Paul taught Titus to teach the Cretans: “Remind them to be under the control of magistrates and authorities, to be obedient, to be open to every good enterprise. They are to slander no one, to be peaceable, considerate, exercising all graciousness toward everyone.”

2/ Gospel: “Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?"

            This Gospel is used in the Thanksgiving Day each year. The purpose is to remind people to recognize what God has done for them and to give thanks to God.

2.1/ One must recognize a favor before giving thanks: As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him. They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying, "Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!" Some laws concerned about the lepers are written in the Book of Levites and Numbers:

            (1) The terrible fate of a leper: Since the Jews pay a special attention to purity, the lepers can’t live with people, but must live outside of the camp (Lev 13:46, Num 5:2). They can’t make a direct contact with the healthy, but must cry out loudly “Unclean! Unclean!” every time when the healthy come close to them so that they know of their presence to avoid (Lev 13:45).

            (2) To show that they have been cured from leper, they must be examined by the priests: When the priest declares they are clean, they can live a normal life with people in the camp (Lev 14:2-3). This is the reason why Jesus told them, “Go show yourselves to the priests." As they were going they were cleansed.

           

2.2/ Those outside are easy to recognize favors than those inside.

            (1) The Samaritan’s gratitude: “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?”

            (2) The Jews want nothing to do with the Samaritans: One strange thing in this passage is the nine Jews let the Samaritan live with them because that shall never happen when they are healthy. This shows that when people are suffered and discriminated, they tend to unite and to live with others.

            (3) Why are the Samaritans often mentioned in the Gospel as the more grateful? The Samaritans, though were despised by the Jews, but many time were praised by Jesus: In the Good Samaritan’s story, Jesus intentionally praised the Samaritan than the priest and the Levite because he showed compassion for the unfortunate. He let him ride his donkey, cared for him at the motel, and promised to pay back the amount for the motel’s owner for caring of him (Lk 10:30-37). After the conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan woman, she became Jesus’ first missionary when she joyfully and eagerly announced what Jesus has done for her (Jn 4:39-41). These examples show the Gentiles can be more grateful than the Jews, God’s chosen ones.

            (4) To give thanks is to deservedly receive more favors: “Then he said to him, "Stand up and go; your faith has saved you."” The Samaritan leper was not only healed from his sickness, but also received salvation because of his faith in Jesus while the other nine Jews were only healed from their leper.

2.3/ Why are people ungrateful? There are many reasons: First, because people don’t reflect; they don’t think about the reason why they receive favors. Secondly, they suppose everyone must help them: God must give grace; parents must care for their children; teacher must teach their students. Lastly, they are afraid that they must return their favors if they acknowledge them. There are three kinds of person whom people are ungrateful to:

            (1) with God: Who creates, protects and unceasingly gives grace for them. Thanksgiving Day is the occasion for people to recognize God’s grace and to thank Him for that by participating on a Mass and helping the unfortunate. How many people do these? Instead, they organize party to enjoy as if the success is from their own effort.

            (2) with their parents: who conceived, cared for, protected and educated them most of their life. They should take care of their parents when they are no longer caring for themselves. Instead, they put them in the nursing home and said to themselves, “the government shall take care of them better than us.”

            (3) with others: who spent all of their life to research, to build up and to invent all the conveniences of life which they are enjoying. They forget that their duty is to continue to make a better world for the next generation, not only to selfishly enjoy them.

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                     

            - We must have time to reflect and to compare in order to recognize what favors others have done for us. The minimum thing we can do to our benefactors is to thank them.

            - Thank isn’t enough, we must do good deeds to those who helped us. In the case we can’t do that, we must continue to give out to others so that goodness is spreading. 

 

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