Living with gratitude means we have to thank God and to give to others
Reflections on the readings for Thanksgiving Day (November 22, 2018): SIR 50:22-24; PS 145:2-3,4-5,6-7,8-9,10-11; 1 COR 1:3-9; LK 17:11-19
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Every day we ask each other for many things. On Thanksgiving Day that probably includes simple things that have almost become customs in our homes: Pass the turkey… Help with the dishes… What’s the score…
It’s a great day for tradition and family, but it is also far more. In today’s Gospel we hear a chorus of voices rise to Jesus, asking “Have pity on us!” (Luke 17:13) Ten lepers wanted Christ to notice them, to pay attention to them. They suffered the pain of a terrible disease, as well as the ostracism that came with it. They were estranged from family, community – and hope. Yet somehow they had heard of Jesus and wanted Him to give them something, maybe just a kind word to remember, but something real to relieve their desolation. And He did. Our Lord directed them to the priests, who could declare them cleansed and whole and welcome them back among their people. “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” (Luke 17:15-16). Of course the others must have been grateful. Yet the nine were so filled with the future and how their lives were changed for the better in such an enormous way, they just could not take time for the present to stop and thank the One who saved them.
Every day we ask for God’s help. That’s as it should be, because we are completely dependent on Him, even if we do not always like to admit it. But we need to spend as much time, and more, thanking Him and sharing our blessings with others. Then, some day, we will also hear our Lord tell us that our faith has saved us.
Suggested missionary action: Today and every day, let’s thank God for something for which we are especially grateful. Then let us reach out to help others in need, so that they, too, can give thanks to the Source of all mercy and goodness.