Scriptural Reference:2 Corinthians 4:8
Let’s start today’s reflection with the words of Rousseau, “Gratitude is a duty which ought to be paid, but which none has right to expect.” Coventry Patmore says, “What is gladness without gratitude? And where is gratitude without God?” Although priced low, it remains a truism that when we learn the lesson of gratitude we lessen our life’s burdens. No wonder St. Louis IX of France says, “Give thanks frequently to God for all the benefits he has conferred on you, that you may be worthy to receive more.”
Yet, sad as it may be, believers are often caught in the web of ingratitude. More often than not what we do is to recount to God all the many things we stand in need of as though He were oblivious of them. We are too quick to remember our needs but very slow in remembering all the wonders He has done for us. This is what occurs at the end of each year as we sit back to reflect on the progression of the year; we usually see our unachieved dreams and aspirations rather than the many triumphs God’s grace has won in and through us. Sadly, dear friend, whenever we focus on these unattained heights we only improve our sense of ingratitude. When we choose to be more conscious of what we lack, we only increase the burdens of our heart. Hence Milo H. Gates, “The finest test of character is seen in the amount and power of gratitude we have.”
Dear friend, as we gradually come to the end of this year 2017, let our stock taking be hinged on gratitude. This attitude is only cultivated when we consciously choose to focus on the blessings we’ve received rather than those we stand in need of. Indeed, reflection will reveal that there is more than enough for which we can be truly grateful. While this becomes obvious we can only affirm more authentically that we are constantly indebted to God who owes no man anything. Charles E Jefferson says, “Gratitude is born in hearts that take time to count up past mercies.” Yes, God does not owe us anything; and we who are indebted to Him for life, health, strength, sight, feet, providence, protection etc. We cannot ever pay Him enough for all of these benefits. The clarion call on us today therefore is to count our blessings and develop an attitude of gratitude to the God; our help in ages past and our hope for years to come. Kahlil Gibran concludes with this advice, “Awake with winged heart, and give thanks for another day of loving!”
MASS: WHITE: 1 Jn 1: 1-4;Ps 97: 1-2. 5-6. 11-12; Jn 20: 2-8 ST. JOHN, AP, EV F
1. Take the hymn, “Count your blessings”
2. For the times ingratitude possessed your heart be truly sorry
3. Thank God for all the benefits you have received this year.
4. Pray for the grace of God to participate in the 21-day fasting starting on the 2nd of January. 2018.
EXERCISE: Take the “Thank You Jesus” Rosary at your convenience today. Meditation:Lk. 17:15-16.