There is a saying that you will only know the value of a thing or a person when you lose it. In the meantime, either you take it for granted or you become entitled, or even both.
Take for example when we visit first-world countries. We are so fascinated with how things work, how abundant the material things are, and how many conveniences they have, yet…why are they not any happier?
Once I was on a bus in Singapore and the lady in front of me turned around and said to me, “You must be from the Philippines.” I said, “Yes, and how do you know?” She said, “You are happy.” I said, “Yes because I am on vacation and I just had Hainanese Chicken and Crispy Cereal Prawn for lunch.” She said, “the Filipinos here work so hard and still can afford to smile and be happy. We Singaporeans, we wake up and think about money, and even before sleeping, we think about money. We worry a lot about money”
Many spiritual people have said that one of the keys to happiness, whether in plenty or in simplicity, is Gratitude. How grateful can we be? In the Gospel story of the ten lepers that were healed, only one came back to say thank you!
Three ways to be grateful:
- Apostolate work. When we do work especially for the poor, we also realize how blessed we are. Yes, there are things we lack in life, but here are people who lack even more in life. How can I not be grateful?
- Find your own calling in life. When you find your own mission you become happy and when you are happy, there is no need to compare your life to others and be jealous of what they have. Indeed, contentment leads to gratitude and gratitude leads to generosity.
- Nothing is permanent in the world. All things are passing, and all things are fleeting. With the people around us, there is a time for hello and a time for goodbye. Hitting rock bottom can be very difficult. Yet, it reminds us of what is important and what is fleeting what is essential and what is passing. In between, may we always be grateful.
In today’s Mass:
- First, we give thanks to God for all his blessings. He is faithful even if we are not.
- Second, we give thanks to our parents, most especially if they are much around. Hopefully soonest we realized all the love, sacrifices, giving, and forgiveness we have received despite their imperfections and the load of life they bear.
- Third, gratitude is a habit that can be learned. It all starts with a thought that eventually becomes an act, then it becomes a habit, then it becomes part of character, and finally, it becomes a destiny.
In life, may we open our eyes and see the many people and blessings we are grateful for.