Our Gospel from Luke this Sunday shares the story of the 10 lepers who were healed by Jesus – with only one of the 10 healed coming back to thank God for the miracle.
I’m always amazed that the 10 lepers who were healed from a hideous disease that made them not just outcasts from society, but even forced them from their families as they were treated as almost less than human – that they were not all grateful for the miracle of their being made well. This healing from Jesus was major and it would change their lives for the better. And yet, as Jesus points out, only one of the healed lepers shows any gratitude.
This Gospel reading is apropos for our friends to the north in Canada who celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend, since this Gospel message is about being thankful to God.
How often are you and I thankful to God?
Sure, it is easy to remember to thank God on holidays such as Thanksgiving or even Christmas. But what about every day?
I'd like to think I would have been like the one healed leper who comes back to Jesus and thanks God for being healed. Maybe I would. I hope I would. But it really boils down to whether or not I have an attitude of gratitude to our God.
The more I pray, meditate, and reflect on my life and all the blessings I have received and continue to receive - I do thank God. But I don't want to be thankful to God only when I stop and pray. I want my life to always be centered in thanking God,
Have you ever watched any of the awards shows like the Grammys, the Oscars, or the Tonys and Emmys? Most of the award winners thank all the people who helped to make their artistry award-winning - from their collaborators to their agents and their family. And that is nice. But what really hits me is when the first words of thanks from someone who has just won one of those big awards is a word of thanks and praise to God.
I want to be God-centered grateful all the time - not just when something major happens.
So how do you develop an attitude of gratitude to God that permeates throughout your life?
One way an old priest suggested to me years ago is to develop a constant awareness of all the gifts that God has given to you and me. List them. And I mean even the basic stuff like being alive, the ability to walk, to see, to hear, to speak, to feel, and then move on to some of the other blessings such as a loving family, health, friends, and education.
Building up an awareness of how much God has already and continues to give to you and me - and realizing it is all a gift from God - such an awareness might help you and me to further develop that permanent attitude of gratitude to God.
Maybe start right now. What are you thankful for? What blessings do you continue to enjoy?
Give thanks to God for all of it - right now.
Make that gratitude to God your first response when someone praises you or something good happens. The more that you and I give the glory to God should lead to you and I becoming more holy and loving and grateful.
As always, if there is anything we can do for you at UB Catholic campus ministry, please let me know. We are here for you.
May God bless you with Peace and All Good.