When a friend shares you his food or toy or a classmate lends you a pen, what do you have to say after? – Thank you!
When somebody does good to us, we usually would say thanks to that person.
I want you to focus this Sunday on the words “THANK YOU”, on the attitude of being grateful, in giving thanks to everything you receive and even to what you have not received. You will know why towards the end of our reflection.
Who among you has remembered the story narrated by the first reading? It was all about whom? It was about Naaman who was healed from his illness. And when he was healed, he went back to Elisha to give him... what? A gift as a sign of giving thanks. But did Elisha accept the gift of thanks or no? No. Because, although it was not written, it is because all thanks must go to God. For God is the one who really gave the healing. Elisha knows that he was only an instrument of God that is why he was healed.
If someone thanks us for something that we have done for others, don't be proud. Rather, direct the words of thanks to God. We should have that kind of attitude that that person should thank the Lord, not to us. We should be telling him that: "if your life became good because of what I said, be thankful to the Lord, not to me." "If you received grace because of my help, thank the Lord, not to me."
Now, we have heard in Gospel about the story of the ten lepers who have asked Jesus to cure them, right? They were told by Jesus to go and report to the priests. Because the custom before is that, the priest declares who is clean and who is not. So that they may come clean to the temple and to offer to God. Then one of them realized that… he was? He was healed. And seeing that he was healed, what did he do? He went back to Jesus to give thanks. When he came to Jesus, what did he asked him? – “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine?”
Some of us, we love to ask but when we are given already, we forget to give thanks. Worst, some are ungrateful. It is true that we are not obliged to give thanks. Because true love and real help do not ask for something in return. But there is something in being thankful that we should note this Sunday. And this is the main point of the readings that we have heard today: BEING GRATEFUL IS EQUALS TO BEING FAITHFUL. A THANKFUL PERSON IS A FAITHFUL PERSON. Naaman became faithful to God because he was thankful for the healing. The Samaritan became faithful because he was grateful to Jesus for healing him. If you are a person who is thankful to God to everything you received in life, you are a faithful person. One way to thank God is by talking to him. And talking to him means praying. A faithful person always prays. Now even if we are not thankful and therefore not faithful, Saint Paul says in the second reading that Jesus remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.
Why do we celebrate the Mass every Sunday (actually every day but you are only obliged to come on Sunday)? Why do we have to come back every now and then in the church where we were baptized? – because the celebration of the Mass is a way of showing our thankfulness to the Lord. First of all, it is a way of thanking for His sacrifice for us. The Mass is a thanksgiving prayer. Secondly it is to thank God for the graces that we have received in life. It is to thank the Lord for the things that happened from Monday to Saturday in our life. That’s why, whenever you would choose to go to the beach, to meet friends, go camping, go out of town without going rather than waste 45 minutes to 1 hour of your time for Mass on Sundays, it makes you ungrateful and unfaithful at the same time. We become like the 9 lepers who forgot or have opted not to thank Jesus for the grace that they have received because they are happy already.
So, my dear kids, do not forget to come on Sundays and attend the Mass, to give thanks to Jesus. And your faithfulness in coming will save you.