The thankfulness of a cleansed leper reveals the power of gratitude to renew and heal our hearts.
Tag Archives: Thankfulness
The first reading and psalm response show people praising God with grateful hearts. What are you thankful for today? How can you express in word or action fitting praise for what God has done in your life?
Study: Consider a time when you experienced joy in the presence of others. What caused it?
Pray: Draw near to the Risen Lord and ask for His grace in your heart to face whatever is before you today.
Serve: How can your life strengthen your family and friendships right now?
The readings today give us a snapshot of some key points that surfaced shortly after the Lord’s resurrection:
- 1st Reading – Thankful praise and sharing in community life
- Psalm – “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, His love is everlasting.”
- 2nd Reading – Christ’s resurrection lets us rejoice in the midst of trials
- Gospel – Doubting Thomas
What do we see? Praise, gratitude, thankfulness, sharing, community life, overcoming doubt, facing trials, and rejoicing! In other words, this is what happens to a group of people who have been transformed by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
And I want to live like this.
Frankly, I want all of us to live like this. Filled with God’s grace, empowered by the Holy Spirit, engaging life at full throttle, dealing with difficulty through the power of faith….is there any other way to live?
So…in the light of these concepts that emerged from the fledgling Church…what’s keeping us from this? Has the resurrection of the Lord “sunk in” and touched our hearts? Do we understand what it means to say “The Lord is risen! He is risen, indeed!” as followers of Jesus Christ?
Do we get it?
We all have obstacles, challenges, and the reality of temptation and sin in our lives. That was true for the Early Church as well. But note this: they changed. In the light of the Risen Lord their lives were forever altered: praising God, facing hardship, working together, filled with joy.
This is our invitation today, and it works in three simple steps:
- Accept the resurrection of Jesus Christ
- Bring the Lord’s power into your heart
- Change whatever is not worthy of Heaven and live in his Light
There is no better way to journey through this life!
Study: How have I reacted in the past when someone I know has been particularly blessed or fortunate? Am I supportive or jealous?
Pray: Ask the Lord for the grace and wisdom to celebrate sincerely with others when they have received special gifts or opportunities.
Serve: How can you support others in their moments of blessing? How might you be generous with gratitude for another person’s good fortune?
Consider the following possible situations and scenarios:
- Your neighbor that you have known for over twenty years has just won the lottery.
- A high school classmate that you didn’t talk to very much in school makes it big in Hollywood.
- A relative gets left a hefty sum of money from an old uncle and goes on a long trip around the world.
- A kid who used to ride your bus to school is now the executive at the company – and is your boss.
- A fellow employee in another office gets a big bonus for a successfully completed project.
- Your best friend has the opportunity to have a special audience with the Pope – through a connection with a friend in the Vatican.
All of these scenes have one thing in common: through an encounter with generosity and/or opportunity another individual benefits and possesses rewards that we do not share.
How do we react? How do our attitudes and actions change toward those who have received unexpected (and sometimes unearned) generosity? While I know that I hope that I would be good natured, polite, friendly, and supportive – a part of me echoes with the sentiments of the workers in today’s Gospel.
There is a sense of justice, a feeling that we should get what we deserve that goes against the grain of the message today. The last workers got the same wage, even though they only worked a fraction of the time. It’s not fair!
In reality, the story went beyond fairness. No worker was cheated. No worker was denied a fair and agreeable wage. The Master simply wanted to be generous out of concern and care for others.
The fact is, God is generous to all of us. There are moments when we have fallen short of the Lord’s justice through sin and temptation. Yet like the workers today, we receive God’s generosity even when we have not earned it. May we live accordingly.