“Where are the other nine?” (Luke 17:18)
When the ten lepers came to Jesus asking to be made clean, they were sincere in their belief that He was powerful and kind and He could and would do this for them. It was something they REALLY wanted and they pleaded with Him in their loudest most convincing voice.
Then as they went to the priests and found themselves clean they rejoiced with heart and voice. They probably danced in the road, and singing joyfully went to show their families and friends the wonderful miracle.
When parents give a delightful gift to their child, the little one becomes so excited and happy, ripping off the paper and ribbons, opening the box, and giving a whoop of delight when he/she sees the gift, assembles it, tries it out, has fun with it. There is intense pleasure for parents in seeing this happiness in their children and knowing they were able to provide the delight. But the high point in this relationship is when the child runs to his father, throws his arms around them and says from his heart, “Gee, thanks Dad!” That is when there is intimacy and bonding.
This is what was missing in “the other nine”. Jesus did not regret curing them. He was happy that they were enjoying good health, but He missed that intimate moment of gratitude.
How often we get caught up in enjoying the gifts God has given us. They keep us very busy. We value them. They are precious to us. Whether it is a bowl of hot soup on a cold day, or a medical test that says ‘all clear’, or a son or daughter who comes off drugs, or a reconciliation that we thought was impossible, or a realization of our gift of Faith, or the ultimate gift of Holy Communion. Our tender God loves to see us happy, but He would like to be part of our conscious joy. How wonderful to have a whole day set aside for this type of deepening our personal relationship with God and our dear ones. Let us spend some time throwing ourselves into His arms and saying, “Thank you Lord!”