One Leper A-Leaping !
Giving thanks is an integral part of our Catholic faith. Eucharistein, a Greek word from which Eucharist is derived means "to give thanks." To give thanks is an indication of faith in Jesus. Persistent attitude of gratitude is tantamount to keeping faith in Gracious God. Naaman shows gratitude to Elisha on being cured of his leprosy by bringing him gifts (2 Kg 5). One leper out of ten healed by Jesus returned to express gratitude. Only one returned to give thanks in a loud voice glorifying God and falling on his face at the feet of Jesus. Of the ten, only one leper leapt for joy in thanksgiving. "Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? "(Lk 17:17). Because of his show of gratitude Jesus rewarded him with a gift greater than the cure of his leprosy; he received from Jesus greater gift of faith and personal recognition.
Why is it that we sometimes don't give thanks to God for numerous blessings we receive from him? We sometimes even skip giving him thanks for gift of our food! We often fail to recognize the importance of thanksgiving in our faith expression. Such ingratitude is not acceptable and diminishes our sense of faith in God. St. Paul reminds us today to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thess 5:18); we don't have to wait till Thanksgiving to give thanks. In all circumstances-good and bad- we should give thanks.
My Yoruba people have a saying: Bi omode ba dupe oore ana, a tun ri omiran gba (A child grateful for gifts received will receive another). Like the one leper a-leaping and unlike the nine who are ungrateful, I want to say thank you to all of you gracious parishioners who give to the church their time, talent and gift. Many of you are fulfilling your monetary pledges, many of you have been very supportive of the changes made to Sunday masses, many have made sacrifices to keep church religious events alive from those catechizing our children, those who volunteer in the parish office to those praying the rosary between masses on Sundays. In a special way, I want to thank those who made themselves available to be voted for membership of our Parish Pastoral Council. In a couple of weeks, we shall get to decide on our choices for membership of PPC. Thank y'all!
Fr. Bernard Oniwe, OP