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Thank you, Jesus

In the Gospel (Luke 17:11-19) this Sunday (October 9, 2022), Jesus heals ten lepers and sends them off to the see the priests, who in that day were the ones whose job it was to evaluate cases of leprosy and determine if someone is clean. Luke tells us that "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.

I have often heard it said that when we serve the poor, we are bringing Jesus out into the community and bringing healing. I am not sure I agree with that, especially, as the theologian Karl Rahner, S.J., explained, when we love another we see Jesus looking back at us through the other's eyes.

A reflection came to my mind recently while I was listening to a faith and worship song from Hillsong called "Thank you, Jesus". Here is a link to a version of it on YouTube. While I was listening to it, I was picturing some of the people I have served at a food pantry. Take a few minutes to listen to that song while picturing some neighbors of yours whom you serve. Imagine thanking Jesus for them. Imaging thanking Jesus in them, with him looking back at you through them.

When it comes to serving our neighbors, consider these challenge questions for this week:

1. Do we tend to put ourselves in the position of Jesus, expecting to be thanked, and noticing when we are not?

2. Perhaps, are we the leprous ones, whom are healed through our encountering Jesus in loving others? Should we be thanking them, or thanking God for them?

3. Can you remember a time that you were "healed" because of an encounter with someone in need? What would you say to that person, if anything?

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