Sunday, 13 October 2013
"Thanks be to God", "let us give thanks to the Lord our God" - the language of thanksgiving permeates the Church's worship, as it does the prayer life of many Christians. When we say grace, for example, we give thanks for our food. Today's gospel reading picks up the theme of thanksgiving - the Samiritan leper cured by Jesus gives thanks for his healing.
Saying thank-you is an essential part of our lives as Christians, and we should make deliberate efforts to include thanksgiving in our daily prayer. This is not because God needs our thanks, or relies on it, or gets upset if we don't say 'thank you', as though God were like one of those people who only does good things for others to get thanks, audibly huffing if no thanks is forthcoming. Rather we need to thank God, because as we get into the habit of doing so, we are transformed.
As we become people who regularly give thanks we train ourselves, with the help of God's grace, to see the world in a new way. We learn to see the world for what it really is, a gift of God, given out of love. And to recognise the world as this is to recognise ourselves as loved by God, and so to be open to receive more fully from him.