This gospel passage clearly tells us to have an attitude of gratitude. It focuses on the one Samaritan who returned to give thanks to God for his healing. But what about the other nine… I am sure they were Jews since Jesus says “except this foreigner” (NIV).
Samaritans did not follow Jewish customs maybe that is the reason he came back immediately to thank God. Healing definitely did not come instantly, according to your faith you get your healing. So his faith was surely more than the others.
Just for a moment, I decided to think of why the other nine failed to return to thank God. I know there is no excuse for their attitude nor am I siding them. The thoughts that ran through my mind were:
For Jews to be accepted back into society they had to show themselves to a priest, (Lev 14:3-4) Jesus himself ordered them “Go show yourself to the priests” So they were only obeying the rabbi’s command and which ultimately lead to the thank-offering to the Lord.
They were on the outskirts of the village, maybe a Sabbath’s walk to town, now to turn around and come in search of Jesus must have been difficult, where would they find him?
Surely they were not all healed at one go. It depended on their faith. The Samaritan’s faith in God superseded the others. No one knows how far the others reached before they were completely healed.
Some must have thought that, the rabbi was a busy man and with all the crowds following him around, would it be possible for a second meeting? Doubt it.
Whatever the reasons may be, 99% of us fall into the category of the nine ungrateful Jews. We take our own sweet time to be thankful to God, and at other times we forget completely to thank him.
It is a lovely gospel to ponder on, which made me offer the Mass as a thanksgiving for all the unmerited favor of God in my life.
"Lord, wipe away every sin and tear down every barrier. Unite us all in you. Let nothing divide us. We will never forget what you have done for us."