A central characteristic of true discipleship in Christ is to have a grateful heart. In his parables, Jesus often emphasized the need for us to be grateful for all the blessings we have been given and the obligation to express such thanks in words and actions. For example, in the parable of the ten lepers, we recall that only one returned to give thanks to the Lord. How many times do we find ourselves in the same position, lamenting perhaps something that we want and did not receive, all the while forgetting to thank the Lord for the many blessings we already have, including the next breath that we take and the gift of salvation in Him?
Gratitude is so central a part of our faith that the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass when we participate through grace in the one unrepeatable act of the Lord’s death and resurrection is also called the “Eucharist”, which is derived from the Greek word “to give thanks”. If the fullness of the Church is present and strengthened at Mass, then gratitude must be at the heart of our lives as Christians.
This week we will explore the variety of blessings for which we are grateful. We can immediately think of the materials blessing that we have, which are given for our good, the good of those whom we love and to be shared with those around us. However, we often forget the spiritual goods that we have been given and the need to share them with others, especially the gift of our faith.
It is no surprise that some of the earliest words we learn to say as children is “thank you”. They are words that we can never forget.
The previous reflection originally appeared on Bishop Frank Caggiano’s Facebook page. Follow the Bishop for daily reflections and weekly videos!