Has it occurred to you to forget the unthankfulness and pay more attention to gratitude? Gratitude is the best medicine, the most beautiful rose, the most potent weapon. Jesus said to the Samaritan, who was the only one of the ten healed who came to thank Jesus: “Arise and go; your faith has made you well” (Lk 17:19). In the conduct of the Lord Jesus, we see that when He walked, He gave birth well and did not enjoy human praise, glorification. He did well and quietly. Jesus teaches that he who gives a gift should not act so that he expects the other to return it. Jesus does not want the principle of reciprocation to apply to us. However, in the Gospel, he teaches us about the behavior of the Samaritan of gratitude. Elsewhere, we read, for example, “And be thankful” (Col. 3:15)! St. Paul not only commands, but we can recognize him as a man of gratitude. It is possible to ask the question: on what does gratitude consist? Indeed, it is not just an emotional matter, a momentary thing, when someone has shown us service, help, love, or attention, a kind of goodness. It is an inner strength that manifests itself in outward signs. Gratitude is a manifestation of goodness, of the inner man. It is the response of inner attitudes displayed by exterior signs.
Jesus points to this fact when he meets the ten lepers whom he heals. Why didn’t Jesus heal them right away? He wanted them to share in the healing and believe in him. We gain even more in union with Christ when we do his will. The Samaritan, recognizing that he is healed, returns to Christ to thank the body for healing. Jesus’ words: “Arise and walk, your faith has made you well” (Lk 17:19), also speak of the healing of the soul or the increase of faith. And gratitude for the increase of faith, the healing in faith, deserves our greater attention. Pay attention to your faith. To be grateful to God for the gift of faith. Attitudes toward gratitude, opinions about gratitude, and especially daily practice speak not only about the kind of people we are but also about the kind of Catholic Christians we are. Let us ask ourselves: Doesn’t God deserve our gratitude? For what? For the gift of life, health and sickness, work, hands, eyes, hearing, heart, family, children, vacations… But also for supernatural gifts, the gift of redemption, the gifts we receive through the sacraments, the Mass, prayer, and acts of Christian mercy.
The old teacher was celebrating her eighth birthday. Children were her life. For them, she did not marry; she forgot her happiness or renounced it… For several decades, she wiped the noses and tears of first graders. Many have forgotten her. What joy she had when grandfathers and mothers, her former children, and her pupils came to congratulate her. Let’s put ourselves in the situation: what does an older adult feel during the Christmas holidays when they are supposed to be alone? What joy, how he gives thanks when the neighbors in the entrance, from the street, notice him, although they are not family, and invite them to the Christmas Eve table.
Gratitude pays off. This is not just a statement but a human experience, and one day, we will see that it is also an essential key to heaven.
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