Continuing on with the Thanksgiving theme, today I want to challenge myself and all who read this to think about this – are we truly grateful to God for all the great good done for me/us?
At Mass yesterday morning, a couple of thoughts came to mind sitting up in my perch called the choir loft. (I have come to believe when these thoughts enter my mind it is the Holy Spirit reaching out to me to share these thoughts with all of you.) The first thought came to mind as yesterday’s Gospel was being read…yesterday’s Gospel. Ten were cleansed and only one came back to thank the Lord. How good has been God to me? Do I take the time to thank Him properly? Do I offer God the praise do His name? How is it that I can offer God the praise due His name?
Let me offer some simple suggestions.
Daily prayer. Take time everyday to think about the good things in your life. Too busy? Start with 5 minutes…just wake up in the morning and take 2 minutes thinking about what you hope to accomplish today and then when you go to bed at night spend 3 minutes thinking about all the good things that happened to you that day. If nothing good happened, think about how you can rely on God – ALWAYS – to get you through the bad that happened to you that day. You’ll find if you do this religiously (pun fully intended), that 5 minutes will grow to 10, then to 20 and you’ll soon find how easy it is to give God thanks and praise an hour each and everyday.
Another suggestion is to follow our 3rd commandment…commit to this commandment each and every week. I will always keep Holy the Sabbath. (I know I’ve stated this in past posts, but I truly believe each and every commandment should be started with I will in lieu of Thou shalt or shalt not. I believe the only time it was appropriate to use “Thou shalt or shalt not” was when Moses first read them to the Israelites; from there it should be each and every one of us’ responsibility to live these commandments everyday of our lives – by saying I will, you are making the necessary commitment to our Lord’s commandment.) Whatever faith you practice, the commandments we adhere to do not change. We should all be at Mass on Sunday morning (our Jewish brethren Saturday evening) to offer your due praise to the God who gives us everything. As we were coming home from Mass yesterday, my wife Sarah, my daughter Mary and I were talking about this and Mary tied her thoughts into another commitment – our very first – and that is to place no false gods before our one true God. False gods are not merely the ones we see in Greek literature like Zeus, Hercules, etc. Nope, that can be much more simple than that. They can be as simple as wanting to get some extra rest, sleeping in, golfing, staying out to late on Saturday night, soccer games, basketball games, baseball games. Whatever it is that keeps you out of Sunday Mass on a regular basis is placing that activity as a false god ahead of our one True God. Sunday Mass is so crucial in my life and I believe it is crucial to everyone. Take time each and every Sabbath and give at least one hour giving thanks and praise to God.
The reality of yesterday’s Gospel can be rather stark. 10 were cured and 1 came back to give thanks and praise. If you’re a math person, 90% of those healed did nothing to thank the Lord. This cure wasn’t done without their imploring Him to heal them…As he was entering a village, ten persons with leprosy met him. They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” I pray that if I cry to the Lord for help, I will always have the courage and humility to rightfully return that thanks to God. Again, how can man as simple as myself, return thanks to a God who is all powerful? The answer lies in our 116th Psalm…
I will raise the cup of salvation*
and call on the name of the LORD.
I will pay my vows to the LORD
in the presence of all his people.
Do something great for our Lord today (and everyday) – find the 5 minutes to give Him thanks and praise. On Sunday, make the commitment to be at Mass.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.