This Sunday’s Gospel is the one most often used at Mass on Thanksgiving Day; about the ten lepers who were healed and yet only one came back to thank Jesus. Of course it calls us all to examine our own lives as to how grateful or not we are to God who provides all we need. And how do we thank him?
We are abundantly blessed as a People of God. I am most amazed at those among us who recognize and appreciate how blessed they are even in the midst of dealing with disease, family turmoil, diminishment of mind and body due to age, unexpected death and what, for some, seems an unfair portion of hardship or heartache. As I visit with parishioners and their family members I often hear them speaking of how grateful to God they are; grateful for their faith, grateful for the love of family members and friends and grateful to know that God is with them, especially in difficult times.
Actually, I rarely hear people make comments about anger toward God or despair because God is not with them.
To be a people of gratitude, a people who understand that God is with them and for them, is a gift of faith. Jesus said to the one leper who came back and fell at his feet, “Get up and go; your faith has healed you.” What do we need to thank Jesus for? Do you understand that God is with you always? Do you take time to be grateful for all you have been given?
Much has been written about how being grateful in life can bring happiness, peace and good health. Rather than lament about all that is wrong, it can be healing to identify the good, even amidst turmoil. One way to practice this is to end each day by naming three things you are grateful for before you sleep at night. No need to write it down, although that may help you to see your progress. And some evenings before you sleep you may say that the thing you are most grateful for is that the day is over. That’s okay. Share that with God and list two more. This practice can help you develop an “attitude of gratitude” and ever so slowly you will grow in peacefulness, kindness toward others and a deepening of your faith in God.
Let us be deliberate in thanking God for how abundantly we are blessed. And for anyone who struggles to identify blessing in their life, know that God is with you and he will see you through.
With gratitude to God,
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC