Reading I: 2 Kings 5:14-17
Reading II: Timothy 2: 8-13
Gospel: Luke 17: 11-19
An attitude of gratitude is one of the signs of a happy person. Jesus knows this. In the picture above, one sees Jesus blessing the one leper who returned to give thanks. However, we also see Jesus looking pensively at the other nine who are rejoicing over their cure, but are oblivious of the one who made it possible. Obviously, they are centered on themselves.
In his human nature, Jesus probably felt hurt that only one returned expressed his gratitude. However, he may also have felt sorry that they did not have the attitude of gratitude which would make them happier people.
We all have ups and downs in our lives. However, one of the best ways of pulling oneself out of the doldrums is to list all the things for which we should be grateful. Some people keep gratitude journals. They write 3 things a day for which they are grateful. Then, they try to not repeat. As time goes on, they begin to notice the smaller blessings, e.g. the beauty of a flower, the breeze on a hot summer’s day, the smile of a friend.
When I was working in campus ministry at Xavier University in New Orleans, many of our students came from poor and difficult circumstances. However, they had a joyous manner. It blew my mind when, during prayer, they thanked the Lord for getting them up in the morning. Not being a morning person myself, I had never even thought of thanking the Lord for getting me up. Sometimes, students can become teachers for their instructors.
One day Sr. Ivan and I visited Church Point in rural Louisiana. I was taken to visit an elderly couple who lived in a small shabby house. However, they were such joyous people as every other word out of their mouths was praising and thanking the Lord. I could see why the Lord has such love for the poor.
Just as any good parent wants his/her children to be happy, so does our Heavenly Father and Jesus want this for us. Let us strive to develop a strong attitude of gratitude even on those days when everything seems to be going wrong.
Lord, you have blessed us in so many ways, we thank you for all that was, that is, and that will be.