Ti Biag ken Pammati

Happy Thanksgiving Day Everyone

Deacon Patrick Constantino

Let us take time off our daily activities, which is Life, and who we are, gifts from God, and give praise and glory to Him this day! Be thankful for being a gift from God because what we make of ourselves is truly our gift to God!

A reading from the Holy Gospel of Luke 17: 11–19

As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten persons with leprosy met him. They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” And when he saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As they were going they were cleansed. And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” Then he said to him, “Stand up and go, your faith has saved you.”

The Gospel of the Lord! Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ!

Holy Body of Christ in a Monstrance with the image of our Blessed Mother of God on it!
Photo: Fr Chris Alar, Director of the Marian Community of the Divine Mercy, Calif.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus meets ten lepers who call upon him for mercy, for help. They are looking for healing, they are looking for a miracle. And Jesus is merciful; he is a miracle worker and healer, and he grants all ten lepers what they asked for. Like the Lepers, we undoubtedly also turn to Jesus and plead with him to be merciful toward us, to help us with our problems, to heal what is broken in our lives. And we should, for Jesus is indeed merciful, and does want to heal us of our brokenness.

But Jesus is so much more than a miracle worker or problem fixer and offers us something much greater than physical healing; he offers us salvation, eternal life, and joy. Sadly, in today’s Gospel, only one of the ten lepers comes to learn and experience this truth.

Keeping their distance, they raised their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” When he saw them, he responded, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” On their way they were cured!

One of 10 Lepers who came back to Jesus and thanked Him for Healing him! The Leper who came back and pledged his life to Jesus!
Image: William Hole, 1846-1917, artist – Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, e.g., LC-DIG-matpc-00718]
Hopefully, the reason we are gathered here today is because we, too, have come to learn and experience the truth of salvation in Jesus Christ. Hopefully, we have come to believe the truth about Jesus Christ: that he is fully human, fully divine, one divine person through whom our human nature has been elevated and thus, saved. And not only did the Lord become incarnate to reconcile us to the Father, he continues to come to us and meet us in the Eucharist. How blessed are we to be so passionately loved by the Lord!

Let us never cease giving thanks and praise to God for all he has done for us! Today is a good day to think about gratitude. Though today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States, many countries set aside a day of Thanksgiving in their national calendars. In current times, it is a secular holiday, but its roots are firmly set in religious traditions. It was always treated as a time to give thanks to God, often in gratitude for a good harvest.

The Garcia family attends the St Joseph Church Healing Mass.
Photo courtesy Dcn. Pat Constantino

Often our prayers are filled with asking for things—health, healing, success, material goods and even a deepening of our relationship with God and with others. Today might be a great day to focus our prayer on thanking God instead of asking God; to voice our appreciation for all that he provides; to offer gratitude for the gift of our faith; and to be thankful for the presence of his Holy Spirit in our lives.

Surely, the Lepers spent time in prayer thanking God for healing them. Even if only one of them came back to thank Him and give him praise. They were spared and their life continued.

The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus saved us from the grip of sin and death—and his words in today’s Gospel are comforting to the Lepers and to us. For while much tribulation will occur and trials will be undergone, for those who have faith, the signs of the coming of the Son of Man will be visible—and we can stand erect and raise our heads, for we will know our redemption is at hand. For this, we give acknowledgement and thanks in the Eucharist—this perfect thanksgiving.

God gives us life—here, and for eternity. Today, we might embrace a particularly focused attitude of gratefulness to God: For He is the living God, enduring forever; His Kingdom shall not be destroyed and His dominion shall be without end.

For He is the living God, enduring forever; His Kingdom shall not be destroyed.

Jesus, I trust in You! Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Amen!

On July 1, 2022, Patrick Constantino retired as a Deacon for the Roman Catholic Church in Hawai‘i, after serving for thirty-five years and becoming on June 18, 1987, the first Deacon of Filipino ancestry for the Roman Catholic Church in Hawai‘i. For twenty-two years, he served as Administrator at Holy Rosary Church in Pā‘ia, St. Rita Church in Ha‘ikū and St. Gabriel Church in Ke‘anae. His last assignment before retiring was at St. Joseph Church in Makawao.
Prior to his ordination, Constantino was in government—first appointed in 1966 as Assistant Sergeant of Arms by the Speaker of the House Elmer F. Cravalho. When Cravalho became Maui’s first Mayor, Constantino became his Executive Assistant—the first of Filipino ancestry. Later, Constantino became the first County Treasurer of Filipino ancestry and the first County Grants Administrator and Risk Manager of Filipino ancestry.
Constantino is married to his lovely wife Corazon for sixty-two years. They are blessed with four children, eleven grandchildren, and fifteen great grandchildren.