By Mary Sayad



    November 2003

    Luke 17: 11-18 "As he continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him. They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying, "Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!" And when he saw them, he said, "Go show yourselves to the priests." As they were going they were cleansed. And 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. He was a Samaritan. Jesus said in reply, "Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?" Then he said to him, "Stand up and go; your faith has saved you."

    Beloved Friends,

    To shed some light on the above scripture, a short history will explain the discrimination of the Samaritans by the Jews..

    Although they practiced the Jewish religion, the Samaritans were not accepted socially by the Jews. They were a mixed race brought to Palestine by the Assyrians after their city of Samaria was destroyed in 722 B.C. This mixed race intermarried with those Jews who had remained to till the soil. After the Babylonian Captivity, the Samaritans offered to help the Jews rebuild their temple, but their offer was refused. The hostility that resulted was evident even in the time of Christ. The Jews looked down upon the Samaritans and the Samaritans were considered second class citizens.

    Yet, after Jesus healed the ten lepers, only one leper thanked Jesus. That one leper was a Samaritan. The "foreigner" showed his appreciation and proved himself to be both humble and grateful for the miraculous healing. Indeed, gratitude is always the heart of the noble.

    When Our Heavenly Father provides for each of us in a multitude of ways, large and small, do we acknowledge His goodness and generosity by a simple "Thank you Lord"? God loves us more than we can imagine.

    Do you cheerfully share your time and money for those in greater need? We do not genuinely own anything. We are all on borrowed time and our possessions are also borrowed. We will never take any of our possessions with us when we die. The only things we take with us, hopefully, are our good deeds. Opportunities abound to perform deeds unpretentiously with humility and love. Misuse of riches for our own self-aggrandizement is self-defeating.

    Let us always thank our Heavenly Father, Jesus and Mary for the great love that they send us daily.

    "The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart." (unknown author)

    Remember to pray for our troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families.

    May God continue to bless America and we thank Him for the favor of His grace.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

    Your companion in prayer,