The good news of the day is that Nathan the Bloodhound was victorious in the Westminster National dog show. Nathan did something right! The other news of the day was that today is that American holiday, Thanksgiving. I am always at odds as how to classify it, it is a secular day with some Christian religious roots. The first thanks giving was started in Massachusetts among a group of Anglican separatist’s, the Pilgrims. It also is a big food day where folks rally around one form of poultry, the turkey. And there is football. It is a uniquely American day. Since it is such a big day, and it does have those Christian roots, there is a set of mass readings that are available for Thanksgiving, there also is a separate set of readings for the 34th Thursday of ordinary time. I guess the bishops were also conflicted on how to handle this day. The reading the bishops selected for Thanksgiving though seem completely appropriate. In that gospel reading Jesus heals ten people with leprosy, though only one comes back to give thanks. In that story it was the Samaritan that was the winner, and they were the last group the Israelites would have picked for anything. When you think about those ten, they all cried “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!”, though I have to wonder, when nine of them cried out did they expect anyone to listen to their pleading? I say nine because it was only the one who noticed their prayers were answered. That one gave thanks, though all were healed. I have to wonder why the others did not return to give thanks. When they shouted “have pity on us”, was that a plea or was it a command? Did they not give thanks because they thought the cure was something they deserved? Did they think Jesus was obligated to cure them? Was it arrogance? Or, did they simply not notice, or did they simply not truly believe? Perhaps, all ten were truly thankful but perhaps some simply needed a reminder to express their thanks. That story leaves me as conflicted as America’s thanksgiving. On one hand the story illustrated the importance of giving thanks. On the other it leaves me wondering why the majority did not. It also leaves me wondering, where do I stand?
Who would have thought a bloodhound would win best in show? Can you imagine how exuberant Nathan was after his victory?