The nine lepers who obey Jesus’ instructions to “go show yourselves” do indeed experience physical healing. Yet, there seems to be something more that the grateful leper has received.

To be moved interiorly toward gratitude and to express praise to God can draw us closer, and keep us in humble and right relationship going forward. Therein lies the added blessing of the faith-filled leper.

Perhaps since it is easy to find ourselves among the “other nine,” St. Ignatius placed gratitude as the first movement of the daily Examen. As we in the United States assume the posture of the grateful leper today on Thanksgiving, may we be drawn deeper into relationship and may the Spirit stir in us a desire to love and serve God more generously. May we, too, place gratitude at the center of our prayer in order to sustain us on the journey ahead.

—Marty Kelly is an Associate Chaplain at College of the Holy Cross and a Regional Coordinator for Contemplative Leaders in Action in Boston.




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