Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Luke 17:11-19: Thanking God for His Mercy and Grace

Jesus said in reply,
"Ten were cleansed, were they not?
Where are the other nine?
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?"
Then he said to him, "Stand up and go;
your faith has saved you." (Luke 17: 18-19)

As I read Jesus’ words, I immediately recall the many times that I refuse to offer thanks for the simple and not-so-simple gifts in life.

During this season of thanks, I need to be more aware of God’s many graces in my day-to-day living.  Although I make it a point to thank God regularly in my daily prayers, I need to be like this Samaritan leper and truly express heartfelt thanks, the type of thanks that puts me prostrate to Jesus Christ.  I need to express the type of thanks that not only sits steadfast in my heart and fills my spirit but the kind that makes me want to serve God with warmth and love.  How do I embody and express this thanks?  I can start with true, heartfelt contrition for my shortfalls.  I can start by living the Gospel in my life more.  I can start with choosing to kiss my wife more when she indirectly tells me she hurts, instead of saying or thinking something more jaded and self-serving.  I can start by spending more time on the floor with my children, watching them smile and wonder at the discoveries I take for granted.  I can start by saying hello to the passerby, letting them know they matter, instead of isolating myself into “my space.”  I can truly love all of God’s creation, especially the creative graces God has placed in front of my sometimes-blinded eyes.  

A prayer:

Jesus, always bring me closer to you, even when I stubbornly refuse. 

Help me, Jesus, to be truly, heartily thankful for all the generous gifts the Father gives and for the forgiveness of my sins through Your sacrifice. 

Please, dear Jesus, give me the eyes to see and the ears to hear Your loving guidance to God the Father’s will.