What does it mean to be whole as a person? I suppose the question could have a variety of answers. Wholeness might be having a good balance of work and personal life. Wholeness could also involve having a healthy approach to life with exercise and eating quality foods. A positive look on life might for some, be considered having wholeness. The topic of being a whole person comes up in the reading from Luke. A Samaritan is cleansed from leprosy and on the way to the priest returned praising God for what Jesus had done for him. Jesus replied to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” The Samaritan’s faith didn’t cure him of his disease, Jesus did. His faith did enable him to recognize the source of his healing and to give thanks. This is the faith that made him well – a whole person.
Being thankful may not always be first in our thoughts. We’ll say “thank you” when a person opens the door or allows us to cut ahead in line. Yet, thankfulness can get lost with busy lives or an over estimation of our personal talent. Gratitude is important for life and being grateful to the One who deserves it, has a way of making us whole.
Ten lepers begged Jesus to have pity. He told them to show themselves to the priests and on the way they were cleansed. Going to the priest was important because the priest declaring you ‘healthy’ meant you were allowed to enter back into society and be part of the worshiping community. Only the Samaritan returned to praise God for what Jesus had done for him.
Jesus came announcing that with his presence the kingdom of heaven has come near to us. His death and resurrection opened the gateway for us to be a part of that kingdom. If faith is only knowing a set of doctrine or certainty in personal belief, then faith is focused on ourselves. If faith allows us to see what God has done for us and that he invites to be a part of his kingdom, then we have a faith leading us to be thankful for what Jesus has done for us. This becomes the faith that makes us whole. How will you show your thankfulness to God today?