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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

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Gratitude is a quality we develop by appreciating all God’s gifts

Gratitude is a quality we develop by appreciating all God’s gifts

Just before Thanksgiving, a home economic expert received a call from someone who wanted to know if a turkey was safe to eat. “It has been in our freezer for 23-years, and we wondered if it was still ok.”

“No,” said the home economist. “I don't think you should eat that turkey. It could make you very ill.”

“That's what I thought,” said the caller. “I guess I'll give it to the church food bank.”

When we grow in our faith, a complete change should take place in our personalities. St. Paul talks about putting on the mind of Christ. We exchange our old self with the emphasis on “What’s in it for me” and we model ourselves after the way Jesus lived. This change does not take place overnight but is progressive, a continual renewal.

One constant change that takes place in our lives is the development of a sense of gratitude. Gratitude does not come with birth. We develop it. Nine out of the ten people Jesus cured of leprosy in Luke’s gospel were ungrateful. Jesus was always grateful.

When he worked the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fish, he did not have enough food to go around. He gave thanks for what he had and multiplied it. That’s the spirit we need to develop. We have to stop looking at what we don’t have and start appreciating what we do have.

Life is a gift. We need to celebrate our accomplishments, our many blessings, even our hardships because they help us grow stronger. We have to get in touch with nature, God's everyday gifts: the morning dew, the sunsets, the moon, the clouds, the trees, the flowers, the birds, the animals.

We need to see people as gifts rather than threats. Let us show our excitement for life by performing acts of kindness or by complimenting someone who is having a bad day. Let us tell our love ones how much we love them and how much they mean to us.

Like Christ, we should quit worrying about what we don't have and start being grateful for all the wonderful things God has already given us.

Every night before we go to bed, we should look around us and praise God for all God’s magnificent treasures.

We must also be grateful for the little things in life. We can be thankful for a compliment, for a hug, for a glance of concern. We can be grateful even for the opportunity of serving others. People who reach out to others often talk about the high they receive. Thank God for all those opportunities.

The following prayer by Walter Murray can be used for a Thanksgiving Blessing.

“O God, who blessed us with the world, we lift our prayers of thanks to you;

For leaves in colors gold and red, and lakes in colors grey and blue.

For sunshine and the rain that falls, for times and seasons on parade, for animals, and birds that sing, who share with us this world you made.

We thank you for all food that grows, and feeds our lives in many ways. We thank you for the breeze that blows and lifts our hearts to you in praise.

O God, who made all humankind, we lift our hymns of thanks to you: for skin in colors gold and red, and pigment tones of every hue.

For family gatherings in the home, and friends we meet and come to know. For stories told by young and old as generations come and go.

We thank you for the healing touch that Christ our Lord still has and shares. May we return our thanks to you with spoken words and deeds and prayers.”