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Are we among the Nine Lepers in the Gospel?

Pope Francis said that it’s often strangers and even people from other religions who remind us of the Christian virtues of humility and thanksgiving, of which Mary is a prime model.“How many foreigners, including persons of other religions, give us an example of values that we sometimes forget or set aside,” the Pope said.

People who live among us but might be “scorned and sidelined because they are foreigners,” can in fact be the ones who “teach us how to walk on the path that the Lord wishes.”Not only were the 10 lepers healed by Jesus in the day’s Gospel from Luke foreigners, the only one who gave thanks be-ing a Samaritan, but Mary and Joseph were also strangers in a foreign land, Francis noted.Mary “knew what it was to live far from home. She too was long a foreigner in Egypt, far from her relatives and friends,” he said, “yet her faith was able to overcome the difficulties.”

Let us cling to this simple faith of the Holy Mother of God; let us ask her that we may always come back to Jesus and express our thanks for the many benefits we have received from his mercy.”In his homily, the Pope pointed to how when Jesus healed 10 lepers in the day’s Gospel from Luke, all but one came back to give thanks: “a Samaritan, a foreigner living on the fringes of the chosen people, practically a pagan!”

“This man was not content with being healed by his faith, but brought that healing to completion by returning to express his gratitude for the gift received,”he said, adding that to be able to give thanks and praise the Lord for what he has done for us “is important!”“How many times do we say ‘thank you’ in our family, our community, and in the Church?How many times do we say ‘thank you’ to those who help us, to those close to us, to those who accompany us through life?”he asked, noting that often times “we take everything for granted,” even with God.It takes humility to be able to give thanks to God, he said, explaining that the heart of Mary “more than any other, is a humble heart, capable of accepting God’s gifts.”“In order to become man, God chose precisely her, a simple young woman of Nazareth, who did not dwell in the palaces of power and wealth, who did not do extraordinary things,” he said, and urged those present to ask themselves whether or not they are able to receive what God offers.

“Let us ask ourselves if we are prepared to accept God’s gifts, or prefer instead to shut ourselves up within our forms of material security, intellectual security, the security of our plans,”

Pope Francis, Holily, Oct.9, 2016