“Thank you, Lord, for a good day.” Our family ends the day with this prayer, without fail. Some days it is VERY hard to give thanks to God for that, after everything that happened that day:
Death. Sickness. Pain. Broken hearts. Unruly children, and hurt that our children suffer that we cannot do much to salve.
Recognizing God’s infinite Goodness and thanking Him for it is also very hard to remember to do. In our fallen state, we tend to think how wonderful we are when we accomplish or experience something good. How often do we thank God for this stuff?
Maybe one in ten times, like the lepers in the Gospel. Maybe it takes seven experiences like Naaman in the Jordan.
Shouldn’t we always be thankful, even in our suffering?
This week we read of these and Paul’s suffering, and learn why bad things happen to good people.
And there’s some wisdom in here that deals with that question directly Why does a Good God make bad things happen?
See if you know the answer…
Catechesis At Home – Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C
Mass Readings are presented verbatim from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) web site in good faith accordance with its “Web and Other Digital Media Usage” guidelines. All Rights are reserved to the USCCB.
REFLECTION – Give Thanks in All Circumstances
“In all circumstances, give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) – This week’s Gospel Acclamation.
Can I give thanks for my suffering? Why is there suffering, hardship, poverty, sickness, and grief? These are hard questions that many people ask and cannot understand one probable answer – God has allowed suffering in order for His Goodness to be known. God does not cause bad things to happen, but He does allow them to happen. The Book of Job explores this concept in detail, which has been our daily Mass readings for the last week or so.
Would we look to God for help if we never needed anything? Would we remember that all good things come from Him? How often do we recognize and give thanks for the things we constantly use and have (those things we take for granted)? Do we give thanks for the things we accomplish “on our own”? Do we recognize God’s presence, His gifts, His sacrifice?
The word “Eucharist” comes from the Greek word for “thanksgiving”. At each Mass we celebrate a feast of Thanksgiving. We are thankful for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and for giving us His Body and Blood for our eternal nourishment. We also give ourselves in thanksgiving – at the offertory we present our gifts, our very selves, to Him. “For this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus,” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) as we hear in the Allelui before the Gospel proclamation this week. When we present ourselves – good, bad, and ugly – to God, He will transform us, like He did the lepers. He will heal us and make us fit to the work that He has planned for us. Can we be like the one leper who remembered to come back to the Lord to say, “Thank you?”
This is what it means to give thanks “in all circumstances”.
DISCUSSION – Give Thanks to God for He is Good
This week discuss the following with your family and friends:
When was the last time we said, “thank you,” to God? When has it been difficult to thank God? When have we forgotten to thank Him? Do we live in a way that others see our thankfulness? Or do we complain about our lot in life, or on the flip side, are we self-important or proud of our accomplishments, without giving God the glory and thanks He deserves?
ACTIVITY – Chain of Thanks
Make a thankfulness chain. On strips of paper write down something you are thankful for each day. For small children, you might write “Thank you, God for” and then let them draw a picture or tell you what to write down for them. Link the strips together in a chain that grows longer each day. Display your chain in your dining area. At dinner each evening pray for your blessings and thank God for His goodness, exemplified by your chain.
DIG DEEPER – Other Give Thanks resources from Holy Owned and Operated:
Page: Spirit in Life: The Fruits of the Spirit
TWMWU: Fourth Week of Advent: Promises Fulfilled!
TWMWU: The Lord Has Revealed to the Nations His Saving Power
TWMWU: Third Week of Advent: Rejoice!
Podcast: The Mass Dismissal – Episode 79
Podcast: The Sacrament of the Eucharist – Episode 109
How do you Give Thanks to God?
by Beth & Kristofer Cowles
Other Help on HOO
What is the difference between lust and love?
During this “season of Valentines” Beth and Kristofer cover this (often unknowingly) confusing and vitally important topic before we dive headlong into the pink and roses and hearts and whatnot.
Beth and Kristofer share how to tell the difference between lust and love, and how to teach that to impressionable minds and hearts.
And they do this in the context of Mortal Sin and Theological Virtue: Lust and Love, respectively.
They also, right out of the gate, point to Nick’s seven-part series about Love as a great resource on our web site for this discussion, which is linked to in the show notes.
Living in this world, but not of it, is difficult, and Beth and Kristofer offer us some pointers on how to do that, particularly in this day and age.
And, no, there is no inappropriate or “parental discretion advised” content in this episode.
But they do get attacked by a tree!