A WORD FOR TODAY
GRATITUDE BELONGS TO GOD
In the story of Naaman and the prophet Elisha as we see in the first reading of today, different things come to mind as topics of reflection. He was healed of his leprosy when he humbled himself in obedience and did as the prophet instructed him and he came back to show appreciation. His gratitude should go to God who worked through Elisha to make him well again. This shows that God can do all things and He can make us well if we draw close to Him.
Naaman was unclean in body because he suffered from leprosy and he was also unclean in the soul because he worshipped the god Rimmon and did not know Yahweh the living God, but after His healing he confirmed that there is no other God on earth except in Israel. God healed him and set him free and Elisha did not collect anything from him not because it is wrong to do so, but because he does not want to take the glory for what God has done through him. God's gift of healing and mercy cannot be purchased by money, but by faith and when we receive it we are bound to be grateful and to praise His name.
Whenever we take things for granted we can never be grateful. Gratitude is an attitude of the mind of someone who understands that all we have in this life is a gift from God. God does a lot of things for us from time to time and when we come to ask him for blessings and favours we become professionals and persistent, but in showing gratitude we become unprofessional and unconcerned.
The ten lepers in the gospel reading experienced the Lord's healing as Naaman did. Leprosy has made them to be banished and ostracised from the community. They were unclean and cannot associate with others, but when they met Jesus, they begged Him for mercy and He healed them. However, only one person came back to show gratitude and he was praised by Jesus for his faith.
Leprosy here figuratively represents a spiritual or moral disease. It represents the state of sin, symbol of sin, of human misery and separation from God and brothers and sisters. When we sin, we break the relationship we have with God and we are isolated from Him and from others, but if we come to meet Jesus through repentance and in sacrament of reconciliation, we are healed and we find mercy and love again. This should move us to be grateful and to praise His name.
We cannot thank God enough because He is always doing something for us. Our ungratefulness shows itself when we receive blessings and favours from the Lord or even our fellow human beings and as soon as we get what we want, we go away without any word of appreciation and we do not show up again until the next time we shall be in need.
Gratitude opens the door and creates opportunities for more blessings. Our praises to God adds nothing to His greatness, but it is for our own good. Ingratitude on the other hand is a sickness of the soul and if allowed to persist will make the individual that suffers it to lose blessings. How grateful are you today? How grateful are you to your parents for their sacrifices to raise you up? How grateful are you to your friends for all the support they give to you? How grateful are you to God for the gift of life and other numerous and uncountable miracles, blessings and gifts you have received from Him? This is the time to change your attitude and begin to be appreciative even of the least things you can imagine you have received and you will be praising God as you do that.
When you receive healing, mercy, forgiveness, give thanks. When you get promotion, breakthrough and safe delivery, give thanks. When you pass through trials, temptations, tribulations and suffer for the sake of Christ, give thanks. When your prayers are answered and the miracles you seek are granted, give thanks. In all circumstances we must give thanks for that is the will of God in Christ Jesus for us. Learn to be grateful in little things and you will also be grateful in great things. To be ungrateful could be a sign of leprosy, therefore, you need to meet Jesus with faith so that He will heal you and make you well again.
Good morning dearest one. Smileâ˜ºas you begin your day and do have splendid Sunday. May God's mercy restore you in body and soul and may gratitude never cease from your lips. Amen. And may the Almighty God bless you: the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Meditation: 2Kings 5:14-17/Psalm 98:1-4/2Timothy 2:8-13/Luke 17:11-19
Watch-Word: Rise and go your way, your faith has made you well.
We cannot be grateful enough to God, because he does much more for us than we are grateful to Him. Be grateful and show it to God in action by living a good and holy life.
(28th Sunday in the Ordinary Time, Year C.)