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Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Titus 3:1-7 & Lk. 17:11-19

We have a duty to be obedient to officials and representatives of the government. This is what Saint Paul told Titus in his letter. We owe respect to their office. When such authority is undermined and ridiculed it makes their position to rule impossible. If their rulings have to be challenged they should be challenged respectfully. We are to be loving, courteous and polite at all times, not slandering or picking quarrels with others.

Then follows what you could describe as a hymn in praise of God’s love for us. Not through any righteous actions of ours but through His own compassion He saved us through Baptism, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the generosity of Jesus Christ. He did this so that we might live with Him in Heaven forever.

I am convinced that the ungrateful person would never dream of hurting a benefactor. Yet the very failure to express thanks does hurt. We have a perfect example of this in the Gospel story of the ten lepers. When Jesus cured them only one came back to say his thanks. We can see how hurt Jesus was. For Our Lord said to him, “Were not ten made clean? Where are the other nine?”

If at this moment we could bring each of those ungrateful lepers, one by one, into this Church and tell them how they hurt Our Lord for their failure to say even a thank you, I am sure each one of them would protest. One might say, 'You haven’t a clue about leprosy – Jesus restored my hand where there was just a stump.' Another might ask, “Do you see my nose? There was just a hole in my face until Jesus gave me back my nose.' A third could add, 'We were social outcasts. We could not live with our families. We had to give up work. We were denied the synagogue. We were as good as dead men. Jesus changed all that. He gave us a new lease of life. How could we ever want to hurt Him for all He had done to us?' Yet their failure to thank Him did hurt Him. Jesus said to the one who returned, “Your faith has saved you.” His generosity was rewarded. Those nine who failed to thank Him lost that reward.

It is interesting to note that in our language how similar are the two words think and thank. It is the person who thinks is the one who thanks.

Lord, we pray for all in high places who exercise authority. May they exercise it as You would wish to the best of their ability. Let Your kingdom come through those You establish as rulers. Lord Jesus, may we always be grateful to You for all Your many kindnesses to us.

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