THEME: REMEMBER TO RETURN TO SAY THANK YOU
(2 Kings 5:14-17; 2 Timothy 2:8-13; Luke 17:11-19)
The first reading and gospel remind us that Gratitude should be a natural and perpetual virtue. Hence it must be as spontaneous as our heart-beat.
A Christian in great perplexity prayed but found no relief; looking up from where he knelt, he saw a card with these words: “Try Thanksgiving”. Philippians 4:6 encourages us as well to often use means of thanksgiving in presenting our petitions to God. God is pleased with gratitude but he gets so little of it from us. The second dwelling place of God is in a grateful heart. We can hurt the heart of God by ingratitude and God can be provoked to complain. Let us not be too fast to forgetting former benefits and favours.
Can we give up complaining, and embrace appreciation? Some of us complain a lot. Do we thank God enough for all his gifts: the place in which we dwell, the love that unites us, the wealth, the work, the food, the peaceful environment, the bright skies makes our lives delightful? When we take time to thank God, it provides us some space not only to recognise the gifts but to appreciate their values. When you count your blessings one by one, you will be surprised what the Lord has done (Count your Blessings name them one-by-one)
The action of Naaman and that of the grateful Samaritan invite us to examine how grateful we have been to God and those he has used to favour us. Many people have become cold and ungrateful to God; even to fellow humans. Some have even become antagonistic to those who have assisted them to greatness. Today we are reminded of our duty of gratitude to our parents, relatives, friends, employers, employees, domestic workers, etc. That we ought to be grateful for every assistance we receive. Let no one become so familiar that we forget to be grateful. Let us not only make effort to ask. Let us also be eager to thank.
Our gratitude has to be sincere, not forced or duty-bound. It needs to be heartfelt. A Child said to the Grandma “Thanks very much for the beautiful wears”, “Oh that’s nothing to thank me for” the Grandma murmured. “That’s what I thought, but my mother said I had to” replied the child. Our gratitude shouldn’t be like this, duty-bound.
Gratitude brings greater blessings. A person who is truly to God for everything in life can be said to love God with his or her whole heart. We thank God for this year’s harvest, for the gift of the earth and multiplication of fruits. Remain thankful to God in all situation and circumstances.
(“Now Thank We All Our God” Composed by Martin Rinkart- CBW III 535).