"Was there no one to return and give thanks to God except this foreigner?" —Luke 17:18
The Samaritan leper said "Thank You" to Jesus. In return, Jesus said more than "You're welcome." He said: "Your faith has been your salvation" (Lk 17:19). There is a thanksgiving which is much more than courtesy and kindness. Thanksgiving can be an act of faith by which we accept salvation. Thanksgiving can be a way by which we enter into God's heavenly courts (Ps 100:4). Thanksgiving can be Eucharist — the eternal thanksgiving of the Son to the Father in the Spirit, as expressed by Jesus' sacrifice of Himself on the cross.
Thanksgiving in this greatest sense of the word is supernatural. This thanks can be offered only by God's grace. Those who are most thankful supernaturally are often the very poor, the handicapped, and the rejected. These people are sometimes more thankful for a crust of bread than others would be for millions of dollars and countless pleasures. Those who give this supernatural thanksgiving are often Samaritans, foreigners (Lk 17:16, 18), servants (Lk 17:9), and repentant sinners (Lk 7:42).
Ask for the grace of supernatural thanksgiving. It will change your life.
Prayer: Father, "I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with all my heart" (Ps 138:1).
Promise: "Desire therefore My words; long for them and you shall be instructed." —Wis 6:11
Praise: Josaphat worked tirelessly to attempt to unify his Ukrainian diocese. Despite great danger, he traveled to personally face a mob who opposed his ministry. He was killed by the mob, dying for the people in an effort to bring them together (see Jn 11:51-52).
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, March 22, 1997
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 26, 1997