thanksgiving is thanks-living
"Was there no one to return and give thanks to God?" —Luke 17:18
Naaman and the ten lepers in today's Gospel reading had a lot to be thankful for. They had been healed from the worst disease of the ancient world, leprosy. We, however, have a debt of gratitude much greater than that of all the lepers combined. We have not only received healing; we have received Jesus, the Source of all healing (see 1 Pt 2:24). God became a man and died on the cross for love of each one of us. We have been loved to the most extreme degree and have the most extreme reason to give thanks.
Imagine a car going out of control and about to run over you. Imagine someone throwing her body as a human shield between you and the oncoming car. You are saved, but the person who threw her body in front of you is severely injured. She is now quadriplegic — having no movement of her hands, arms, and legs. How could you thank her for saving your life? What if you went into her hospital room, said thanks, and gave her a $20 bill? Wouldn't that be so inadequate and so wrong? Wouldn't your $20 bill be more ingratitude than gratitude?
What if you came before the bloodied, tortured, crucified Jesus and gave Him thanks, a few moments of prayer, and a few good deeds? Wouldn't that be so inadequate and so wrong? Give your whole life to Jesus. Anything less than everything is so wrong. Give thanks appropriate to crucified love.
Prayer: Jesus, I give You my life and my all in thanksgiving.
Promise: "You can depend on this: If we have died with Him we shall also live with Him; if we hold out to the end we shall also reign with Him." —2 Tm 2:11-12
Praise: Praise Jesus, crucified, risen, and glorified! Praise Jesus, Redeemer, Savior, Lord.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, April 4, 1998
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 8, 1998