Dear sisters and brothers,
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. (Ps. 118, 1-2).
Gratitude is from the Latin word,” Gratus” which means, “thankful, pleasing.” It is an awareness of and appreciation for favours we receive in our life and not taking them for granted.
When was the last time you sincerely thanked God in appreciation of at least, the health and life he has given to you? Sometimes, it is too heavy on our lips and hearts to say, “I thank you Lord Jesus”. We take lots of things for granted including the gift of life and indeed other mercies that God granted us. I have noticed that about seventy percent of our prayers are more about lamentations, recounting of woes, failures and disappointments. But, if we can reflect for just a moment, we will see reasons to thank God in our lives.
In today’s first reading, while Naaman did what simple courtesy demands of every one of us, to show appreciation and thank those who have been good to us, Elisha teaches us that the most important issue in thanking God is not how much material wealth we bring to Him. Rather, the heart and willingness to come back and give praise to Him. God does not come to our help just because of how much we are able to offer him materially in return. However, this does not, in any way condemn material offerings for the good of the Church in appreciation of what God has done for us. This is important because the Church is the visible sign of God on earth. Therefore, whatever we bring in thanksgiving to the Church is offered to God. Surely, He is always happy for our generous donations to maintain the Church.
In today’s gospel, Jesus acknowledged the appreciation and faith expressed by one of the ten lepers healed, who came back to praise God. Let us continue to show gratitude to one another and God for favours granted to us. It must not be seen as a burden or as “paying God back for what he has done for us.” The truth is that we cannot pay him back! The willingness to thank God must flow from our hearts and from a good and pure conscience, rather than from coercion, psyching, or out of fear of what would happen if we did not do it.
Count your blessings and name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done for you.
If we thank God for what he has done for us, he will be happy to grant us more blessings.
|Nov 4, 2016
|28 Sunday in Ordinary Time 09.10.2016