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The good news for the day November 9, 2016

Wednesday of the Thirty-First Week in Ordinary Time (493)

As Jesus continued heading south to Jerusalem, he had to pass through the states of Samaria and Galilee. Just as he was entering one village, ten people ostracized for their skin condition met him. They stood a distance away from him and raised their voice, saying, “Jesus, Sir! Have pity on us!” And when he took note of them, He said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As they were going away, they were cleansed. One of them, though, realizing he had been healed, came back, expressing appreciation to 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 of them, except this non-Jew, returned to give thanks to God?” Then He said to him, “Get up and go on; your faith has made the difference with you.” (Luke 17)

Jesus complains about the lack of gratitude when He heals these individuals. You and I feel the same way—we offer compassion, understanding, patience and improvement. We include troubled people into our listening. and listen to them—and do what we can. And such help gets seen as intrusive pity, as self-righteousness, as condescension.

But something else calls to us—to see past the incident and find its more relevant truth—not a mere echo of the past, a moralism, or preaching—but “Good News”—the telling you of truth that makes you smile.

The Good News is that—like Jesus—you see and treat everyone as your equal. You do not qualify whom you reach out to.  You do not test or examine their past, or whether they belong to your in-group. You do not examine their morality or religion. You respect everyone. You see everyone as brothers and sisters. You are lit by the cries of need they raise up—often without words. They turn to you as their “savior”—and you do what you can. You offer a smile, a hand, and a word of hope. It is up to them to feel and show the gratitude—but you have done what you came to do.

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