"Would he be grateful to the servant who was only carrying out his orders?" —Luke 17:9
In this month of November, we think of thanksgiving and realize that Thanksgiving is not just a day but a way of life forever. "Give thanks to God the Father always and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Eph 5:20).
Do we understand who is supposed to be thanking Whom? The message of today's Gospel reading is that any lack of thanksgiving may be more than an oversight. Possibly we think we are lords who should be thanked, rather than slaves (see Lk 17:10) and Samaritans and foreigners (see Lk 17:16-18) who should give thanks. When we give God thanks, we acknowledge Him as not only our Source of blessings but primarily as our Lord. When we give thanks, we acknowledge gratefully that we are lowly handmaids and slaves of the Lord (see Lk 1:38). Therefore, giving thanks is not merely being polite, but having faith in the Lord, loving Him with all our hearts, and serving Him in privileged submission.
If you prayed all day, would you think you've done God a favor? When you go to Church, do you think you deserve a pat on the back? If you gave a lot of money to the Lord's work, are you being generous or merely just? "Say, 'We are useless servants. We have done no more than our duty' " (Lk 17:10).
Prayer: Father, may the fear of You be the beginning of giving thanks to You.
Promise: "The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them." —Wis 3:1
Praise: Pope St. Leo used his giftedness of combining the practical with the spiritual to lead the Church through troubled times.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet Thankful to be Catholic, or on audio AV 49-3 or video V-49 or on our website download CD 49-3 or DVD 49.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 20, 2015
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