One of my favorite holidays is Thanksgiving. Why? The 3 Fs - Food, Family and Football - and since it is a non-commercialized holiday where you can sit back and reflect on what you should be thankful for in your life. A lot of people pray for things they want from God but I would bet that we are all guilty of not giving enough thanks to God for things He has blessed us with.
Having been to a number of Protestant churches in my life, there is nothing more beautiful than Catholic Mass or the Catholic faith in general. But just like with the sacraments, this depends on the disposition of the receiver and their understanding of it. Too often, many go through the motions. After the first and second scripture readings during Mass, the congregation says: "Thanks be to God!"
This should be more than an empty repetitious verbal response. So giving thanks to God is the theme for this blog. Here is a good scripture reading on this subject, that involves Christ:
Luke 17:11-19: Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed.
One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well."
Only 1 out of 10 of the lepers had faith and were mindful enough to truly thank God? Has anything really changed in 2000 years? Have you known people who were truly blessed by God but discounted it or didn't really demonstrate thankfulness to God in their life?
Being Thankful For Our Brothers & Sisters In Christ
We should be more thankful for what God has blessed us with. We should be more thankful for the Christian brothers and sisters that God has put in our life along the way. Below is a passage from a letter Apostle Paul that hits home on this subject. Paul wrote this while being imprisoned for his Christian beliefs.
Philippians 1:3-10: I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God's grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ
This is a beautiful example of Christian love and a great testament to Saint Paul's thankfulness to God.
"God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say "thank you?" ~ William Arthur Wood
Thanksgiving Day is several months away but Thanksgiving should be celebrated every day. Even if it is only for a few seconds. We have a lot more to be thankful for than we will probably ever come to realize.
Peace to you,
© Michael J. Cox