Thx Again! By Brian Flanagan, Fiat Ventures

Flickr User purdman1

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Have you ever gone out of your way to help someone out, and they barely noticed?  Or maybe you put a lot of thought into a birthday or Christmas gift for someone, and they go through the motions of thanking you, but you could tell it wasn’t quite genuine?  Or perhaps you’ve been on the other side of that situation, not being as grateful as you should have been for a friend or siblings doing you a favor?  I’ve certainly been on both sides of that.  Especially not being grateful enough for things people have done for me. 

In the Gospel this week, Jesus cleanses ten lepers, yet only one of them returns to thank him.  It’s easy to think, “What’s wrong with the other nine?  How could they not go back and thank Jesus?”  Putting myself in the story, I’d like to think that I’d be that one who came back.  But going by my track record with other people (and with God), I’d probably be leper #4.  I’d be thrilled that I got a second chance at life; that I could start fresh.  But pretty quickly I’d settle into that new life and might even forget where I had been, and what had happened to drastically change my circumstances.

Bringing it back to my real life, I’ve seen God do amazing things.  For me, and others around me.  Big things and small things.  Everything from finding healing and peace, to finding a perfect parking space at the mall on Black Friday.  Whether in trivial ways or life changing ways, God has blessed me abundantly.  I know that I should be the first in line running back to thank Jesus, like the leper in the Gospel.  In the Psalms, it asks, “How can I make a return for the goodness of God?”  I find myself asking that question lately.  What are some ways that I can not only thank God with my words, but with my life?

Before we go further here, take a moment and call to mind some of the blessings you’re thankful for.  Maybe it’s a roof over your head or food on the table.  Maybe it’s a particular person in your life you’re thankful for.  Maybe it’s an experience you’ve had recently.  I’m sure you’re starting to “feel” grateful after making your list.  But what are you doing in your life to show God your gratitude?  Not that we’re making deals with God like, “If you help me pass this test, I’ll start praying every day.”  But if you pass the test, doubling down on getting some prayer in every day isn’t a bad idea.  It’s a great way to show God your gratitude. We can bring these acts of gratitude to God and say, “I know it’s not much, and it’s nothing compared to what you’ve done for me, but there’s something in me that wanted to show you my gratitude.”  Because the real answer to “How can I make a return for the goodness of God?” is that we could never fully.  But if we orient our life in such a way where we’re thanking God with our words, our actions, and everything we’ve got, we’ll be in a good place in our relationship with him

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