First Reading: Tobit 11:5-17
Now Anna sat looking intently down the road for her son. And she caught sight of him coming, and said to his father, “Behold, your son is coming, and so is the man who went with him!” Raphael said, “I know, Tobias, that your father will open his eyes. You therefore must anoint his eyes with the gall; and when they smart he will rub them, and will cause the white films to fall away, and he will see you.” Then Anna ran to meet them, and embraced her son, and said to him, “I have seen you, my child; now I am ready to die.” And they both wept. Tobit started toward the door, and stumbled. But his son ran to him and took hold of his father, and he sprinkled the gall upon his father’s eyes, saying, “Be of good cheer, father.” And when his eyes began to smart he rubbed them, and the white films scaled off from the corners of his eyes. Then he saw his son and embraced him, and he wept and said, “Blessed art thou, O God, and blessed is thy name for ever, and blessed are all thy holy angels. For thou hast afflicted me, but thou hast had mercy upon me; here I see my son Tobias!” And his son went in rejoicing, and he reported to his father the great things that had happened to him in Media. Then Tobit went out to meet his daughter-in-law at the gate of Nineveh, rejoicing and praising God. Those who saw him as he went were amazed because he could see. And Tobit gave thanks before them that God had been merciful to him. When Tobit came near to Sarah his daughter-in-law, he blessed her, saying, “Welcome, daughter! Blessed is God who has brought you to us, and blessed are your father and your mother.” So there was rejoicing among all his brethren in Nineveh.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 146:1-2, 6-10
Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul! Happy is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith for ever; who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free; the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the sojourners, he upholds the widow and the fatherless; but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
Gospel: Mark 12:35-37
And as Jesus taught in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? David himself, inspired by the Holy Spirit, declared, `The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, till I put thy enemies under thy feet.’ David himself calls him Lord; so how is he his son?” And the great throng heard him gladly.
When was the last time I felt God had performed a miracle in my life? When was the last time I ran through the streets shouting praise and thanksgiving? Well, I can count a few miracles but nary a run-through-the-street move. Am I a daughter who simply asks and asks in prayer but never offers true thanksgiving? What’s God’s love language, anyway? Is a simple thank you in my heart sufficient? Must I do the run-maneuever to demonstrate profound gratitude?
My life has small miracles scattered within it. When I lay the baby down after a long nursing//rocking session and he stirs but doesn’t awaken, I mutter THANK YOU as loudly as my heart can whisper, and usually credit a specific friend of mine who has passed. She’s my nap-time intercessor. When I manage to hold my tongue instead of lash back when someone close to me criticizes me, I murmur thanks to the God who has listened to me pray for patience over and over again.
But the big miracles? The time my niece survived her harrowing birth condition and emergency surgery. The time my sister survived her bicycling accident and closed head injury. The time my brother survived his deployment overseas. How have I honored God? Have I forgotten to acknowledge our lives are held together by the electronic impulse of our hearts plus His grace? Do I speak proudly of these miracles to anyone who will listen? Or do I mention them on the side, not wanting to be that person who invokes God at every happenstance involving toothpaste selection and family survival rates?
What about giving God credit where credit is due? I’ll bet that’s His love language. A constant and loving credit for my life, the ability to love, and giving myself back to Him in the form of a grateful daughter. I might not gallop about the town square proclaiming loudly, but I’m going to live my appreciation as authentically as I can.
How do you thank God? Do it today. About seven times. And see how it feels.
Nell O’Leary is an attorney turned stay-at-home mom to three lovelies. She and her husband live in the great city of Saint Paul. You can find out more about her here.