Continuing on from yesterday…and in preparation for Thanksgiving on Thursday, I jumped ahead in the Daily Readings this week and was reading one of the sets of Readings the USCCB has approved for Mass on Thanksgiving. Before I get too “political” again this morning, I wanted to post for you the first reading for Thursday (keep in mind, I believe there are three options to chose from)…from Sirach.
And now, bless the God of all,
who has done wondrous things on earth;
Who fosters people’s growth from their mother’s womb,
and fashions them according to his will!
May he grant you joy of heart
and may peace abide among you;
May his goodness toward us endure in Israel
to deliver us in our days.
It is God who blesses us, foster’s our growth from the moment we are conceived until the moment we take our last breath. It is God who grants joy and peace in our lives. It is from His goodness that we will be delivered from all of our sins. With that in mind, what is there not to be Thankful for? I know I am not alone when I say we all have people in our lives who inspire us. Those people who are windows that when we see them, we see Christ in all of His glory. They are people who are filled with the Holy Spirit and who have accepted God’s will in their life and are living examples of holiness; they are an inspiration to all who know them to live a life of goodness, a life of joy and peace. I have many in my life, but today I will set forth the example of my beautiful Aunt Jackie. She has had a year that would crush many but through all of her health issues, she has never complained, never shown despair to all of us who love her deeply. She enjoys life knowing that God has blessed with her many good things. Her husband, her children and grandchildren, her siblings and extended family and friends. She gives thanks each day for those blessings and shares her joys in that with all who know her. When she is having a bad day, she openly shares what it is that has her down and asks for our simple prayers to get her through. Her trust in God is complete and it is an inspiration for me to see that. It is through her example of complete faith in God’s will that I am able to forage through whatever is bringing me down in life. Aunt Jackie, thank you for the blessing you are in my life; thank you for the faith you have in God. His love shines brightly through you and helps light the path for all of us to find Him.
In our the Gospel for these chosen readings, Jesus has the 10 lepers ask for pity on them so He sends them to the Temple to be cleansed. On the way there, they were healed of their leprosy. Only one of them – a foreigner – returned to give thanks to God. I am led to believe from this statement…“Ten were cleansed, were they not?
Where are the other nine?
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” that the other 9 were more than likely Jewish (the 10th being a Samaritan). When I read that, I called to mind the saying that God provides light for all, the just and the unjust; God provides rain upon the earth for both the just and the unjust. So, if God and Jesus can do this for all – provide healing, light and rain – without prejudice or judgement – shouldn’t I try to do the same in my life. Should I love someone less because they’re not white? American? Catholic? Conservative? No, my love should be for all of God’s people. I should show them this love regardless of whether they come back to thank me for it or not. St. Paul sums it up in this single statement in the second reading for Thursday…“God is faithful,
and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Do something great for our Lord today – In all circumstances, give thanks,
for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
He must increase; I must decrease.
Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean.
But you man of God chose righteous, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness. Compete well for the faith.