Many years ago, my cousins and I went home to the province to take a look at the property of our grandparents. It was a property that could not be sold because it was full of informal settlers. Nevertheless, we went there to take a look at the property. Since we were new to the place, the people there were asking who we were. After the ocular, we went home.
Three days later, I got a call from a cousin who sounded alarmed. “Don’t ever do that again,” he said. He explained further, “Don’t ever introduce yourselves as heirs of the property.” He explained the many horror stories of a similar situation. “Owners get beaten up, a grenade is thrown to the house, they get harassed.” The first thing that crossed my mind was, where is the sense of gratitude? They are staying in a property that is not theirs, so the least they can do is be grateful.
In the Gospel, Jesus also cited a story to hit on the Pharisees and the scribes that must have been prevalent during his time – tenants losing their sense of gratitude.
Three things to remember when we too seem to be losing our sense of gratitude:
- We really possess nothing in this life: we may own things, we may own houses, we may home expensive items. However, ownership is just the documents. We came into this world with nothing and we are leaving this world with nothing.
- The Character of People can come out when it comes to Money. There is a saying, “Give a person money and power and his true character comes out.” How many relationships have been destroyed because of greed?
- Happiness is an Inside Job. We think that money gives us happiness. We think that material things give us happiness. True happiness is doing what God has designed us to do: Finding our purpose in life.
In every Mass may we learn to reflect on the saying: “I complained that I did not have shoes until I saw a man without feet. May we go back to the basics of life by saying, “thank you.”