Gratitude: God’s Gift to Us
He never said that they weren’t grateful. The “other nine” lepers whom Jesus had cured may have been quite glad to be free of their terrible malady—but we don’t hear them say that and, neither, apparently, did Jesus. Only one returned and gave thanks. Yes, it’s one thing to be thankful; it’s another to express the thanks, especially to God.
Expressing gratitude to God is not merely an instance of “being nice” to God; it’s not quite of the same sort of thanks which we write or call to a friend or relative who has given a gift. Expressing thanks to God draws us more deeply into relationship with God. The words of a weekday preface for daily Mass put it beautifully: “You have no need of our praise, yet our desire to thank you is itself your gift.” Our desire to thank is a gift of God . . . it’s been placed deep within us so as to move us even more closely to God.
What are you grateful to God for at this very moment? Does the very thought of one or many things surface in you a desire to give thanks? That desire is God’s gift to you. So, seize the moment, express that thanks, draw near to God.
By Richard Gabuzda