Optional Memorial of Saint Albert the Great, bishop and doctor of the Church
“Let us give thanks to the Lord our God,” the priest says at every Mass. “It is right and just,” we respond, every time. Indeed the very word we use to describe not only what we celebrate but also what we receive—Eucharist—means “thanksgiving.” Yet we so often take all that God does for us for absolute granted. We do not ponder the mystery of His generosity: truly, He owes us nothing. All is out of the sheer generosity and loving kindness of His Heart, and that is only when we consider the very basics of His providence.
Our “daily bread,” for example. Or how He cares for the lilies of the field, the birds of the air, and so on, as Jesus tells us in the famous Gospel passage (Matthew 6:25-34). Yet it is good to ponder as well what He has done for us in His Son, by whose Incarnation, Passion, and Death He has labored to save us, offering a remedy for the leprosy of sin and the certainty not merely of Death, but of eternal damnation. Humanity cried out—we cried out—“Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” and He did. Like the servant who owed the king a tremendous debt, we were forgiven simply because we asked for His forgiveness (Matthew 18:32). But when was the last time we sincerely thanked God for what He has done for us; when have we expressed our gratitude not merely in word and sentiment, but in deed and worship as well?
Let us not be like the nine lepers in our Gospel who, though cleansed simply because they asked Jesus for His mercy, went on their way while only one—a foreigner—returned to thank Jesus. Be the one: let gratitude be your response to God’s mercy in your life.