Thanksgiving is Thanks-Living

“Was there no one to return and give thanks to God?” —Luke 17:18

Naaman in the first reading and the ten lepers in Sunday’s Gospel reading had a lot to be thankful for (2 Kgs 5:14; Lk 17:14). 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 Eur20 bill? Wouldn’t that be so inadequate? Wouldn’t your Eur20 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? Give your whole life to Jesus. Offer your body to Jesus “as a living sacrifice” (Rm 12:1). Anything less than everything is incomplete. Give thanks appropriate to His crucified love.

PRAYER: Jesus, in thanksgiving I give You my life and my all.

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: Jesus, my risen Lord and my God, praise be to You for Your mercy and salvation.

(From a reflection by a member of the editorial team of the late Fr Al Lauer’s Presentation Ministries) For the full Readings please go to: or visit our Facebook page / The Word on Sunday

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