First Down (November 18, 2018)

Dear Friends,

A very powerful scripture passage from the Gospel is used by the Church for Thanksgiving Day mass. Jesus heals ten lepers and sends them off to show the priests. The priests are the ones who announce who were unclean and have now become clean and can rejoin the community. Their illness has excluded them from community life. In the Gospel, only one returns to give thanks to Jesus. Jesus does ask

where are the other nine? Were not all ten made whole? Even in the time of Jesus, the mindset of religious life was it was expected that one would offer praise and thanks to God for all good gifts. It was a given. Even Jesus understood this and this is why he asks, where are the other nine? Our Eucharist is thanksgiving. The word Eucharist, from the Greek, means giving thanks. Every time we are at the table of the Lord it is one of praising and giving thanks to God for all he has done. Not just for us but for all people.

Even today Christians can be overwhelmed with life issues and even opportunities. We can become lost in daily living with stress, but also with the good things in life. One can forget to come to the table to be grateful for every gift from God. One must not just take for granted that God will just do his thing and we live in expecting our will not God’s. For some it is so expected that one becomes angry with God and his people because what was expected has not happened.

I invite all parishioners to really enter into the Thanksgiving Day setting. Enjoy family, offer peace for that day if needed, take time to pray before the meal, and if that is seen awkward by those at the table,it might be a good time to invite people just to simply say or think what they are thankful for. It is a great way to remind people what Thanksgiving is about. Maybe this reflection might encourage more people to enter the wonderful thanksgiving experience called the mass. I think the people of St Patrick and Scottsdale are people who have so many things to be thankful about.

As Jesus healed he knew the custom of praising God. Jesus might be asking where are the others? We’re not all healed? May we can commit to thanksgiving more often.

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Eric