One of the very first lessons of human beings is to be grateful. When we were given a candy bar or a gift as children, we were asked, “What do you say?” When our teacher would leave at the end of the class, in unison we would all stand up and say to our teacher, “Goodbye, and thank you!” Yes, when we become ungrateful, our parents would scold us and give us a litany of things that we should be grateful for. 

Nowadays, how many of us would open a door for someone or offer a chair to someone and be lucky to hear the words, “Thank you?” How many parents could not believe the words from the mouth of their children asking, “What have you done for me?”  In the Gospel, Jesus heals ten people. How many came back to say thank you? One out of ten.

Three reasons why people can be ungrateful:

  1. Changing of World Values: We have lost our moral compass: the right is made wrong and the wrong is made right. The right is persecuted and wrong is bold and loud. Sadly, one of the things that we slowly forget is gratitude. As the saying goes, love things and use people. 
  2. Comparing our lives with others. We forget that each person has his or her own blessings and the surest way to unhappiness is to compare our life with others. How many people are not happy because they saw on social media their friends are traveling for a holiday, all smiling in a party that we were not invited to, or having a new vacation house blessed? 
  3. Self-Centered. Nowadays it is all about me: My dreams, my plans, my happiness, my music, my movies, my food. We forget that we are beneficiaries of many other people’s goodness. 

In every Mass, we have to open our eyes to the world and reminds ourselves of three things for us to be grateful:

  • We came into this world with nothing and we are leaving this world with nothing. Hence all are only lent to us.  
  • People Need People. There is no one so rich that he or she does not need anyone, and there is no one so poor that he or she cannot help anyone.
  • The world will never be perfect, yet we can find happiness if we are grateful.

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