Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Other Nine

November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Day

I give thanks to my God always on your account for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus, that in him you were enriched in every way, with all discourse and all knowledge, as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you, so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will keep you firm to the end, irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Cor 1:4-9

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? " Luke 17:15-19


And now, bless the God of all, who has done wondrous things on earth; Who fosters people's growth from their mother's womb, and fashions them according to his will! May he grant you joy of heart and may peace abide among you; May his goodness toward us endure in Israel to deliver us in our days. Sirach 50:22-24


The Good News for our Thanksgiving Day Mass holds special sway with me as it also was the reading on the Sunday Mass at the closing of my Cursillo weekend experience. As Deacon Jack Ligon preached about it, he looked up and realized that there were ten candidates before him.

That weekend, like the other 258 weekends in the Diocese of Arlington, began a good work and that team and those candidates picked up the legacy of every weekend before, since and to come. Will we be the leper who returns thankful or the others who go about their busy-ness preparing more for Black Friday than for the First Sunday of Advent?

Paul of Tarsus reminds us that all of us have in our toolbox the instrument of testimony. In the life-examples of the Samaritan leper and St. Paul, we are confronted with the issue of what to do with this Good News that has been shared with us. This is a movement that sprouts from those 258 weekends. It is a movement about growing more Christians. Paul provided to us an example of how to do that through the way he interacted with others: sharing his story, teaching, writing, and living. We may not end up canonized but all of us can pick up that work.

We know that Jesus was here. We know that the Spirit is the living presence in this world. We know that our Savior will come back to us. So what shall we do while we are waiting? Certainly one option is to sit in our personal "Upper Room" and wait with the door locked and the curtains closed. However, we are reminded in today's readings that we share in the fellowship of Christ. That fellowship calls us out of those dark rooms into the light of the world to share his mission in our piety, study and action.


As you celebrate this holiday in moderation, did you know that one in every five children are at risk to live in hunger? In cities near and far, they and the adults around them exist in food deserts where good nutrition at an affordable price is hard to find. Check out this story from CNN and consider how you can share from your Table of Plenty on this day when we give thanks for family and friends, health and happiness, freedom and security.