October 9, 2016
Today is Thanksgiving or a day for giving thanks. We are taught at an early age to say please and thank you. However, as life progresses we forget about these simple manners. Often times we can catch ourselves demanding something and being ungrateful.
Lets break down this compound word and see what we can learn from it and from the Gospel read for us today.
I think the better word for this is gratitude (or the quality of being thankful). In the story of the 10 lepers we read that 10 of them shouted out “Have Mercy” These lepers are desperate. They are begging and perhaps even demanding to be listened to and to be given mercy. These 10 lepers lost everything: their health, their homes, their families, and their wealth. Jesus tells them to show themselves to the priest. They do this but something curious happens. Jesus asks
"Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they?
Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?"
The other 9 did not show gratitude. The answered prayer of being healed, restored to family, dwelling and income was not thanked. Most often when a person gives something to another person we expect a thank-you but do not demand it. This is what Jesus did to the 10 lepers. What is astounding is that a Samaritan (the most despised people of the day) showed thanks. He had true gratitude in his heart and knew whom to go to thank for this amazing gift.
When is a thank you not a thank you? When it is not expressed in word or action. If God has done something for you then you must give (which is a verb) thanks. Being thankful means showing or expressing thanks. We all have places to go, people to see, money to spend. Do we thank God for these gifts? Out of nearly 40 million people in Canada how many return thanks to God for this amazing country? Out of 40 million people in Canada how many give thanks to God for food on the table and food in their belly? Unfortunately a very small percentage gives thanks to the one true living God. We are quick to thank farmers, thank parents, thank children, thank friends but how quick are we to give thanks to God.
To conclude, I want each of us today to write down and say to God
Thank you for what I have
And then spend time to say thank you to God for what you do not have
This exercise should help all of us to be mindful to have an attitude of gratitude so that every day is a day to give thanks or a thanksgiving day.
Let us pray