28th Sun Year C
Christian conversion is promoted by conversation. This section is a response to and a development on the knowledge gained from the commentary section.
This Sunday's Exposition
In James Christensen’s painting The Ten Lepers (click red text) we see these ten men a few moments after the realisation has hit them that they are cured. Nine have exploded in exhilarating joy and have begun a crazy run for the temple…but one has hung back. Turning, his eyes search for Jesus in the wonder of the moment. Click here for a larger version of this painting. Not only has his flesh been transformed, a new level of existence has come into him. His joy has been transformed into gratitude and this, he must return to express.
Gratitude is a funny emotion. It really doesn’t exist within a person but rather between persons and comes in response to something done or given from another. In expressing our thanks, genuinely and deeply, we not only affirm the dignity of the other, we affirm our own. Sometimes we might hesitant from doing a good deed as we don’t want the other to feel beholden to us. But look closely at that word ‘beholden’. It is a fact of nature that we hold each other in being. Gratitude does not only face and accept this reality – it glories in it. It transforms the possibility of feeling beholden as a demeaning experience into one of love.
Gratitude unexpressed is not really gratitude at all: it truly only exists between people. Sometimes we cannot express our gratitude to the person or persons who have done us a good deed. But we can proclaim that goodness in other ways – by praying for them, by praising them but, most especially, by passing on the goodness we have received to others in similar acts of loving kindness.