Both the ordinary and extraordinary are worthy of giving thanks to God
Sister Mary Kabat
This Sunday we continue Ordinary Time in the Church Year. I know it refers to “ordinal” numbers – one, two, three. Reflecting on the Scriptures passages the Church gives us this Sunday I am thinking of all that I take for granted, thinking it is ordinary, while it is really extra-ordinary and should call forth thanks and praise from deep within me.
First there is Naaman, a foreigner and valued servant, sent to be cured of his leprosy. The Prophet Elisha tells him to jump in the Jordan River seven times. It took some convincing but Naaman did it and was cured. When Elisha refuses his gifts of thanks, Naaman asks for a load of soil to take home with him on which to worship the true God of Israel. He will never forget the God who cured him through an ordinary action.
In the Gospel there are 10 lepers calling out to Jesus for a cure. Jesus tells them to go show themselves to the priests who are the ones who can declare them free of leprosy. Seems a bit undramatic, doesn’t it? As they head out, one, “realizing he had been healed,” returns and bows at Jesus’ feet to thank him. Only one!
As we go about our day, perhaps in a rush, perhaps worried or not feeling well, perhaps discouraged or longing for something that is not ours to have, do we miss the ordinary blessings, the helps along the way, the warmth of the sun, the patter sound of the rain, the air we breathe, the smile of a friend or stranger … so many ordinary and extraordinary blessings in ours each day. But we will not thank and praise God for them unless we realize they are there.
May your grace, O God, at all times go before us and follow after us.
(adapted from this Sunday’s Collect)