The better part of our lives as adults consists of duties. We have little choice: we have hardly finished our work, or when the next duty is already awaiting us. Many people do little more than move from one duty to another all their lives. And when a person scrupulously fulfills all those duties and tasks he is praised for his diligence.
No matter how diligent such a person is, he misses something that is indispensable. We only become truly human when we add to all we MUST do something we WANT to do, without anyone telling us to do it.
When the ten leprous men had been cleansed of their illness by Jesus, they were told to go and show themselves to the priests. That was the commandment in the law.
But one of them goes beyond the duty and does something of his own accord: he comes back to give thanks. No one has told him to do so. And it is certainly not just a formality he observes, for he falls prostrate at the feet of Jesus and thanks Him from the bottom of his heart. You can’t bow down deeper than that. You can’t be more convincing in your thankfulness.
All who fulfill their duty are cleansed. But are they also healed? Only this one human being, who gives thanks with heart and soul, hears the redeeming words from Jesus: “Your faith has made you well.” (RSV—Greek sesōken, saved)
And we, when we receive His medicine that makes whole, the Sacrament, are we then able to give thanks to Him with heart and soul?