In the movie Groundhog Day, egotistical weatherman Phil Connors heaps snobbish scorn on the people of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, as they celebrate their special day. The next morning, he discovers that he is living the same day over again. This happens so often that he sinks into despair, even trying to kill himself—only to wake and live February 2 once again! Finally, Phil tries a new approach. He takes an interest in the people around him, learns their stories, and does good deeds all over town. He lives the same day until he gets it right.

Luke’s text is also a story about getting it right. Ten people are afflicted by leprosy. They are isolated from their families and feared by their community. They approach Jesus as he enters their village. Jesus tells them to go to the village priest. During their journey, the disease disappears. They are free. They can go home. Nothing can stop them from breaking down the synagogue doors!

No response was sufficient to repay that debt, but one man knew that something had to be done before he saw the priest. He went and thanked Jesus for giving him his life again. All ten of the men with leprosy had their bodies made clean. But only one was made whole again. He was the one who got it right!

There is a difference between being cured and being healed. The cure went to all. The healing came to the one who recognized the Healer. This one man understood his own vulnerability. He learned that every day is a gift, an opportunity to live fully, not only for himself but for others.

Every day is a chance for us to get it right, to thank the One who gives us life and to reach beyond ourselves and care for others. Every day is not Groundhog Day. But, thank God, every day is Thanksgiving Day!

Lord, thank you for forgiving my mistakes and for the time to “get it right.” Your love and forgiveness are never-ending gifts for which a simple thank-you can never be enough. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Luke 17:11-19

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Lectionary Week
October 3–9, 2022
Scripture Overview

Through Jeremiah, God sends a message to the people in exile: They are to seek good for the city of Babylon, their new home. God will bless the city and in doing so will bless God’s people. The psalmist encourages the people to praise God with songs recounting past challenges through which God’s powerful deeds have brought them. This can be encouragement for those currently experiencing difficulties. In Second Timothy, Paul encourages his protégé to endure suffering if necessary. In fact, Timothy should expect to experience resistance. Although the apostle Paul is in chains, the word of God is powerful and can never be chained. The story in Luke reminds us of a basic truth: We should remember to show gratitude to God for answered prayers.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7. When have you experienced physical or metaphorical exile? How has God helped you to thrive in your Babylon?
Read Psalm 66:1-12. Recall a time of division in your family or community of faith. How did God bring you individually and collectively to a spacious place?
Read 2 Timothy 2:8-15. How do you remember Christ in your actions toward others?
Read Luke 17:11-19. What boundaries keep you from full wellness that can be found in Jesus Christ?

Respond by posting a prayer.