Thanksgiving – A Lost Art

“As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him. They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” And when he saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As they were going they were cleansed. And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.”

Luke 17:11-16

Our society has lost the art of gratitude, that capacity to turn and give thanks to those who make a difference in daily life. We are called, however, like the one cleansed leper returning to Jesus, to render thanksgiving to God. Not so much because God has answered a need (healing, job found, relationship issue resolved), but more so because we understand by our action of giving thanks, we proclaim that we are saved only through the action of God in Christ.

When we celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the center of our worship is Jesus himself in the Eucharist. It is a thanksgiving, as suggested by the Greek noun – εὐχαριστία (eukharistia), the verb of which is “to thank”. And so, with our Lord before us, we recall our successes and favors received during the week. Above all, it is here, we contemplate God’s great love, that becomes real at our own discovery of being saved without payment – freely given.

Let us not let this Sunday pass us by without turning to the Lord, and offering him our praise, our thanksgiving, and our love.

O saving Victim, opening wide
The gate of heaven to man below!
Our foes press on from every side:
Thine aid supply, Thy strength bestow:

Immortal Godhead, one in three!
Thy great name be endless praise,
Oh, grant us endless length of days
In our true native land with Thee.

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