October 10 - 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
In Spanish the words thanks, grace, gratitude, and gratis (free) all have the same root and all refer to the fact that favors and good deeds for others are given and received freely. Saying thanks is not paying, but recognizing that what has been received is truly a gift, received through the sheer goodness of the giver who does not expect anything in return. Sometimes, however, it is difficult to give without expecting anything in return or accepting something without trying to return it. Free is a nice word, but it is difficult as it requires generosity and humility on both giver and receiver. The person who returned to thank Jesus for healing him knows this.
Perhaps the other nine felt ashamed at not being able to pay, or simply felt that they were entitled…In either case, they were not humble and grateful. Gratitude is a virtue of the humble.
How do you feel when you receive something totally free? Do you feel grateful for the things that, without your deserving them, others do for you?