A constant theme in the Old Testament and the New Testament is that we are to offer to others what God has offered to us. The Hebrew people were called on to free slaves, forgive debt and to care for the widow, the orphan and the foreigner because God did all of these things for them when He freed them from slavery in Egypt. Today’s first reading from Titus 3:1-7 follows the same theme. Since Jesus showed us love and mercy, we are called upon to show love and mercy to others – including civil authorities.
Psalm 23:1-6 is very familiar to us. But take some time to read through it prayerfully. I like to recall God’s promise in the Old Testament that He would shepherd His people personally since the shepherds He established over the Hebrew people failed, and Jesus’ consequent claim to be the “good shepherd.” God is our shepherd. He has come to guide the Church to holiness and fulfillment.
In Luke 11:17-19 Jesus cures ten lepers, and only the Samaritan (the “foreigner”) returns to Jesus to offer thanks. The rest of the lepers were no doubt eager to be declared clean so they could rejoin society and the Temple. But Jesus used this instance to show that sometimes gentiles had a better understanding of who Jesus was than the Jews. What lesson can we draw from today’s Gospel? Let us always remember to be thankful to God for all of our blessings. Gratefulness is one antidote to selfishness and entitlement. It is good for the heart and the soul. We also hear Jesus’ words, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.” Let’s renew our faith in Jesus today and trust Him to take care of our every need.
Also published on Medium.