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A People of Thanksgiving

As a nation today we celebrate Thanksgiving Day but we shouldn’t be thankful just one day a year.  Our thanksgiving should be part of the attitude we live our whole life with.  Our presence in the world should reflect an attitude of gratitude.

As we celebrate this holiday, while it is a not feast day in the Catholic Church, the Church does offer readings with this holiday in mind.  Our readings today open with a passage from the Book of Sirach that speaks of giving praise to God.  We can ask ourselves why is it that we come to Mass.  Do we come to get something?  We do receive grace in hearing the Word of God and celebrating the Eucharist but coming together for Mass should find its center in praising God.  We praise God because God has blessed us in the past and because He will continue to bless us in the future.

Today’s Gospel is the story from Luke’s Gospel of the ten lepers who come to Jesus for healing.  Without first healing them, Jesus sends them to the priests.  Their willingness to go shows faith.  The only reason they would go to the priests is to be declared clean after they are healed but they weren’t healed yet.  They did as Jesus said and on the way they were healed.  One, realizing he had been healed glorified God and returned to Jesus to give thanks, recognizing Jesus as the source of his healing.  What happened to the other nine we do not know.  We can only assume they continued on their way to the priests.

Do we give thanks to God?  It’s easy to remember to ask God for help.  Do we remember to say thank you?  What are we thankful for?  For things?  How about spiritual gifts?  In today’s second reading Paul gives thanks to God for the Corinthian people and for the spiritual gifts God has given them.  Are we thankful for other people and for what God has given them?

When we live in recognition of God’s ongoing blessings in our lives, we live with an Attitude of Gratitude that helps us see things in a better way.  Just last March I got a hearing aid.  I could have said I am too young at 44 to need a hearing aid but I didn’t.  I’m just happy to be able to hear better.  I am thankful that God gave others the gift to develop hearing aids.  Could God just have healed my hearing? Yes, but this is the way He was chosen to help me and I am thankful.

What are you thankful for?


Fr. Jeff

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