Thursday, November 26, 2009

Remember The LORD Your God, Who Brought Your Ancestors To This Land

First Reading:
Deuteronomy 8:7-18

The LORD your God is bringing you into a good land – a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and the hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack for nothing: a land where the rocks are iron, and you can dig copper out of the hills.

When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your good for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am given you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble you and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.


Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 113

R. Alleluia!

Praise, you servants of the LORD,
Praise the Name of the LORD.

R. Alleluia!

Blessed be the Name of the LORD,
Both now and forever.

R. Alleluia!

From the rising to the setting of the sun,
Let the name of the LORD be praised.

R. Alleluia!


Luke 17:11-19

As he continued his journey to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him. They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” When he saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As they were going, they were cleansed. One of them, realizing that he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; 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? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”

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When the pilgrims landed safely on the shores of the New World (at Provincetown, not Plymouth), they offered a prayer of thanksgiving to God for their arrival in a land where they would have the freedom to live and to worship as they chose to. Today, we celebrate the freedoms we enjoy in this nation, and we offer our prayers in gratitude to God for the many blessings we continue to receive.

The First Reading from Deuteronomy contains images and phrases that truly fit today’s celebration. We reflect on the goodness of God, and give him thanks for the abundant gifts we have received from his bounty through Christ our Lord. Then we recite Psalm 138, an ancient song of praise and thanks to God for his abundant blessings.

Finally, the gospel story from Luke recalls the time when Jesus cured ten lepers of their disease. Yet only one, a despised Samaritan, returned to give thanks to the Lord for his cure. Let us reflect on our own taking for granted the many blessings we have received from God, and have come to expect as entitlements.

As we ponder these readings and as we gather together with family and friends to celebrate God’s goodness to us, let us be reminded by this gospel reading that we must always thank God for his blessings. Our prayer of thanksgiving to God is more effective when we move out of our own comfort zone and treat others with compassion, kindness, gentleness and patience. Even more importantly, we are encouraged to forgive those who have offended us, as we pray that the LORD will forgive our offenses. When all of this is accomplished with love, we can honestly and sincerely give praise and thanks to God on this holiday which becomes for us a holy day.

Paul Mahowald, S.J.
Creighton Online Ministries

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