In my Common English Bible translation of the story of healing found in Luke, the story is captioned, “Jesus heals a Samaritan.” The story, of course, is about Jesus healing ten people with a serious skin disease, but only the Samaritan returns to thank him and give God praise.
Jesus notes that it is the foreigner, the greater outcast, who is overwhelmed with gratitude. The others do what they are told to do, no doubt, but show no real gratitude to the one who transformed their lives. One wonders what they said to the priests whom they were instructed to visit. Other than being healed, do they live life differently after this miracle?
I bet the Samaritan does. He’s already shown deep gratitude. He prostrated himself in front of Jesus to praise him for his newfound life. He’s had to live apart from friends and loved ones because of his disease and now he can rejoin them. He’s had to rely on begging to survive and now he can work. Oh, the joy in such transformation!
There are many times when we experience miracles, small and large, in our lives. Do we take the time to give thanks for them or do we just go on about our daily work?
Do we even recognize God’s grace and glory in our daily lives, let alone give thanks for them? Do we see God’s abundance in our lives or simply think that most of what we have is the result of our own hard work?
When we choose to live generously, we choose first and foremost to be grateful. Grateful to God for what we have; grateful to our families and friends for their love and support; grateful to our faith communities for their acceptance and challenge. Gratitude opens our soul to a fuller life because it opens our mind to seeing all that we have been given.
When we accept that we have received so much, we can then live generously. That generosity is more than how we share what we have. It is how we welcome the stranger or foreigner, and how we forgive those who have offended us. Living generously can transform our lives and transform our communities. It is a way of praising God for all we have been given.