I intentionally chose today to reflect upon the optional Mass readings for Thanksgiving Day. Here in the United States, this is a day set aside historically to give thanks for the bounty of the harvest and the blessings of the year. I truly love that this holiday happens with such close proximity to the beginning of Advent and a new liturgical year. In that sense, this day reminds us to pause, to reflect upon the cycles of the liturgical seasons we have lived out, and to give thanks as well for the ample spiritual blessings in our lives.
I found it ironic then that in today’s gospel, we read of ten who were blessed and only one who remembered to give thanks to Jesus. Luke shares with us the story of the ten lepers who begged Jesus for mercy and healing. When they were cleansed, only one – the Samaritan – paused his celebration to return, to fall at the feet of Christ, and to give thanks. Jesus assured this man, an “outsider” by all rights, that indeed his faith had “saved” him.
While I love to remember to give praise to God for the many little blessings in my life, all too often I am one of the nine lepers who asks but forgets to thank. I put before the Lord my petitions on a daily basis, asking for the needs of others – but often for my own as well. When my prayer requests do not line up with God’s will, I pray for the grace to accept HIS perfect response. When my prayers are answered as I’d hoped (and they often are!), I need to do a better job of returning to Christ, falling at his precious feet, and letting my gratitude flow as the Samaritan did.
Today, as we pause for a day of family and celebration, let us remember to thank our Creator for every bit of bounty and every blessing, even the unanticipated and unplanned ones.
Do you incorporate formal prayers of thanksgiving in your daily prayer time? How will your family celebration today incorporate expressing your gratitude to God?
God of all bounty, you shower us with riches every moment of every day. We praise and thank you for your unending love, forgiveness, and grace in our lives, today and always!
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Lisa Hendey