Sunday, October 19, 2014
Recently I saw on daytime TV a court case, in which a daughter was in court with her mother. The mother wanted some money from the daughter which was indeed owing to the mother.
The daughter repeatedly said that she owed nothing to her mother, and did not wish to see her mother or have any kind of contact with her mother.
The judge appealed to the daughter for reconciliation with her mother; to be grateful for receiving something that reaches far beyond any payment that could ever be made: the gift of life; to be grateful for the limitless kind of nurture that one generation gives to their offspring without charge. The person who cannot be grateful has something wrong inside them.
That gratitude from each generation to the preceding generation raises the whole tone of human existence – and vice versa!
That attitude of gratitude applies to society as a whole as well. Kennedy said we should not so quickly ask what our country can do for us, but what we can do for our country.
We are all guaranteed that one day will indeed be our last day in these human bodies of ours. That is why the Lord’s Prayer has the sentence, “Save us from the time of trial.” It is a constant prayer that God in Jesus will rescue and preserve us in our ultimate trial, or ordeal, or adventure, namely, that of death. We offer that prayer at every single service of the church. So every day is a gift to be thankful for.
Jesus said, “Give to God what is God’s”. What part of each day do we owe to God? And surely the answer should be, “All of it.” This is the same point as in the Eucharist (which means ‘thanksgiving’): “All things come of thee, O Lord, and of thine own have we given thee.”
Like the court case at the beginning, we are not very thankful to God when we give back very little through God to others.
St Paul in our (1 Thessalonians 1:2) reading said, “We always give thanks…” How much do you live in a spirit of gratitude? St. Francis was consumed by gratitude, joy, and could therefore live simply. So gratitude as a means to simpler living is critical for the survival of the planet!
The degree of our gratitude is expressed in returning some part of our talents, time, and treasure, in returning some part of our heart to God, in thanksgiving. What is due to God in your life? What is your part that you return?