One of the first lessons in life that we learn is to say thank you. When we receive candy or a treat, our parents would always remind us, “What do you say?”. If we received a toy for our birthday, our parents would always remind us, “What will you say?” In school as well, we were taught to say, “Goodbye and Thank You,” to our teachers.
Sadly, as we grow older, we often forget to say thank you. We have someone who serves us food in a restaurant, we take it for granted that it is his job to serve us. We have a teacher who sacrifices a lot, we take it for granted that it is her job to teach us. We receive so much from our parents, we take it for granted that it is their love and obligation to provide for us.
In mass readings, we are often reminded to be grateful to God for giving us his only Son. In St. Luke’s Gospel, of the ten who were healed, sadly… only one said thank you.
Hence, this is something worth reflecting about gratitude. Three points:
- All is Grace. Let us remember that all we have, whether material or talent, is a blessing. We may say that we inherited this or we work hard for that, but it is still a blessing. Bottom line, we came into this world with nothing and we are leaving this world with nothing. So whatever we have is only lent to us. We must always remember that there is a time to hold on and a time to let go.
- Count your blessings. One reason that we forget to thank others is that we count other people’s blessings. When we do this, we get lonely. After jealousy, envy also sinks in. Eventually, we forget to appreciate what God has given us until we lose it. Only then do we regret not being grateful.
- Be Grateful even in the Storms of Life. This may be hard but very, very helpful. When we experience tragedy, we even blame God, “Why me? How does God let this happen?” We must remember that God is good and everything happens for a reason and purpose. When experiencing the typhoons of life just be hopeful and persevere. Remember God’s promise: “I will never leave you nor abandon you.”
May we always pray for a grateful heart. Whether in plenty or simplicity, grateful people are always happy people.