To my readers in the US: Happy Thanksgiving!
Today the word of the day is: gratitude. Thanksgiving is a time where take time to be grateful to God for God’s blessings to us. Everything and, more importantly, everyone is a gift. None of us is the Creator but we are all given the possibility of cooperating with God’s creation. None of the food on our table is created by us; it’s a gift and one where in recognition of that gift, we creatively work with the gift of food and make it something to be shared with others.
Our family and friends for whom we are grateful are also not our own, but gifts from God. Yet what do we do to express and acknowledge the gifts of being given wonderful children or spouses, parents and mentors, siblings, friends and community? We are invited to feel and experience a sense of gratitude and then to be creative in how we want to express this gratitude and share it beyond our own circles.
How do we “pay it forward” —as well as reciprocate it to those who love us well? For example, in times of economic well being, what do we do to share it with the poor? Gratitude and the recognition that we are not our own makers help us move outward rather than remaining insular.
In the US lectionary today the Gospel reading is about Jesus’s healing of ten lepers. Only one comes back to give him thanks. Jesus praises this and questions the way we sometimes receive healing yet fail to remain grateful. It’s interesting to wonder, though, if even the ungrateful lepers went out and with their gratitude and healing went out and placed that energy into loving and giving to others in some way. For when we receive love, it is natural to love in return.
When we feel gratitude like the former leper and do say, I’m thankful, to God or even to those who have given us love and healing in the past, we are inspired to share that thanks —-not only to God who is its Source but also to widen the scope of who we share that gratitude with in our families, communities, and daily lives.
For what blessings this year do we want to give thanks? How do we want to show this not only in words but also in actions ?