Today’s readings all talk about GRATITUDE. In the first reading (2 Kgs 5:14-17) Naaman returned to Elisha and acknowledged and thanked the Lord for healing him. Saint Paul in his second letter to Timothy (2 Tm 2:8-13) thanked God for His blessings upon him even in his unworthiness. Then, in our gospel reading today from the gospel of Saint Luke (Lk 17:11-19), the Samaritan came back to thank Jesus for healing him. These readings all tell us and shows us the importance of gratitude.

SO WHAT IS GRATITUDE? GRATITUDE is defined as the quality of being thankful; the readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Hence, gratitude is the act of being thankful, appreciative and grateful for some form of kindness shown us and our call to reciprocate such actions to others.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BEING GRATEFUL? The benefits of practicing gratitude or being grateful are nearly endless to mention but here are some of them: Gratitude opens the door to more relationships. Gratitude improves physical health. Gratitude improves psychological health. Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression. Grateful people sleep better. Gratitude improves self-esteem. Gratitude increases mental strength.
Also, people who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they are thankful always exhibit very positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems.

WHAT ARE THE SPIRITUAL BENEFITS OF GRATITUDE? The spiritual benefits of Gratitude is that it leads us to have a deeper love, a stronger appreciation and a better awareness of God, of the self, and of others. Gratitude also fosters positive attitudes that will open one’s heart to love, forgiveness, and peace.

My dear Catholic Christians, how grateful and thankful are we to God for all His blessings, graces and mercies upon us? When was the last time you as a child of God thanked Him for all He has done in your life and continues to do in your life and for being there for you in your life? Remember, the word "Eucharist" which comes from the Greek word ‘eucharistia’ means "thanksgiving", so how thankful are we to God today in this Eucharistic liturgy for all He does for us?

Brothers and sisters in Christ, the life we have today is not guaranteed because it is a gift from God, but our acts of kindness and goodness which are acts of gratitude, guarantees us a place in heaven. So let us strive to show gratitude to God always for all His blessings, gifts, talents, graces and mercies upon us in our love for our neighbors.