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Now Thank We All Our God

First Reading: Sirach 50:22-24

And now, bless the God of all,
who has done wondrous things on earth;
Who fosters people’s growth from their mother’s womb,
and fashions them according to his will!
May he grant you joy of heart
and may peace abide among you;
May his goodness toward us endure in Israel
to deliver us in our days.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 145:2-11

R. (see 1) I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Every day will I bless you,
and I will praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD and highly to be praised;
his greatness is unsearchable.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Generation after generation praises your works
and proclaims your might.
They speak of the splendor of your glorious majesty
and tell of your wondrous works.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
They discourse of the power of your terrible deeds
and declare your greatness.
They publish the fame of your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your justice.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:3-9

Brothers and sisters:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.I give thanks to my God always on your account
for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus,
that in him you were enriched in every way,
with all discourse and all knowledge,
as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you,
so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift
as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He will keep you firm to the end,
irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God is faithful,
and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Gospel: Luke 17:11-19

As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem,
he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.
As he was entering a village, ten persons with leprosy met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying,
“Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!”
And when he saw them, he said,
“Go show yourselves to the priests.”
As they were going they were cleansed.
And one of them, realizing he had been healed,
returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;
and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.
He was a Samaritan.
Jesus said in reply,
“Ten were cleansed, were they not?
Where are the other nine?
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”
Then he said to him, “Stand up and go;
your faith has saved you.”

NAB

nov 25

One of the most life changing books I have read over the last few years has been “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp. The premise of the book is how Ann’s life was changed by the dare from a friend to count one thousand gifts—a thousand graces from God. Through the daily practice of giving thanks, Ann found herself on a transformative journey that affected every area of her life-including all the messy, hurting, and broken places. I find myself thinking how this book has changed my own heart as I reflect on the readings today.

The Psalm today is like a rallying cry for all the weary souls: “Everyday I will bless You, and I will praise Your name forever.” Really God, everyday? Are you sure about that? Is that even possible?!

Yes, my sisters, it is so very possible! We bless, honor, and worship our God when we can name His goodness and love in all area’s of life: the beauty, surprises, pain, messy, and yes even in the suffering. When we are able to give thanks for the seemingly microscopic and yes even the painful, we make a place for God to grow deep within us. And that is what a thankful heart does, it allows God to grow in each of us.

Look at this leper in the Gospel today. The physical healing of his body gave him his life and human dignity back. But why does Saint Luke choose to specifically mention this Samaritan man came back to thank Jesus? What’s the big deal with that? Because thankfulness transforms us from the inside out.

Thankfulness is a rich spiritual practice but it can also be very tricky, especially when the pain of life makes you feel anything but thankful. Many of you have suffered greatly this year: job losses, broken relationships, illness, ending friendships, troubled marriages, miscarried babies, financial struggles, etc.

I wish I could sit with each of you hurting and wrap you in the biggest, warmest hug. But God is always good and you dear one are always loved by Him. He longs to transfigure it all in  our lives, no matter how long it takes.

Be the tenth leper today my sisters . . . run back to Jesus, fall at His feet, and say “thank you.”

Today in the United States is a day we gather with loved ones with prayers and reflections of thankfulness for God’s many gifts of the past year. I ardently challenge you today to start your own journey of counting one thousands gifts. Start your own journey to deeper gratitude and thankfulness. It will change you, as it is changing me.

This dare to write down one thousand things, it is really a dare to name all the ways that God passionately and recklessly loves you. Grab a journal. Pick up a pen. Start counting and be that tenth leper.

Patty Hubbard is a runner, big dreamer, youth minister ordinaire, and recovering know-it-all. When not fundraising for World Youth Day, she is learning to find grace in all things. You can find out more about her here.

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