A Grateful Heart: Key to God’s Merciful Love
(see Lk 17:11-19)
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
There are in our social relation two magic phrases that act well, as a key powerful enough to open even the heart of man. They are, on the one hand, “thank you” for the person who has done something good to us; on the other, “I am sorry” for something wrong which we have done to people.
By saying “thank you”, we are really human, realizing that we are not self-sufficient. We need farmers to feed us with their products: rice, bread, milk, fruit, vegetable, pork, beef, fish and the like. We need workers in different sections of society to provide us with housing, furniture, transportation, water and electricity, clothing, healthcare. We need mass media people with newspapers, radio and television, internet to inform us about what is happening around us. We need friends, colleagues to share with us moments of joy and sadness. We need a home to treasure countless beautiful and unforgettable memories of our lives. We need a family to learn from loving and caring fathers and mothers first and important lessons of how to become fully and authentically a human person.
Of course we have to buy their products and pay for their services. However, we never think that money can do the job of a grateful heart. How much money can we pay our teachers for dedicated years which they spent giving us good education? First and above all, how much money do we think is enough to pay our parents for their great sacrifices, sometimes silent and only known to God alone, with which they introduced us to the world as someone deserving people’s respect and love?
We are thousand times grateful to God for His unconditional love for us with which He created us in His beautiful image, for all the blessings needed for our life, both material and spiritual, for the greatest gift ever granted to us: Jesus Christ, His Only Son, to save us from slavery to sin by His Suffering, Death and Resurrection.
We really owe God a sea of gratitude for which we can only do something in return by begging Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior to thank God the Father in our behalf in the sacrifice of the Holy Mass.
The Gospel story of the healing of the ten lepers tells us that Jesus was asking why only one of them came back to thank God. The question now is whether God also needs our “thank you”?
When we say “thank you” to God, it is by no means to think that God needs our gratitude because He did everything good out of His infinite love as water by nature always flows and brings freshness and life everywhere. It is us who need to show our deep gratitude in order that we deserve God’s more and greater blessings. The Church prays in thanksgiving as follows:
You have no need of our praise, yet our desire to thank you is itself your gift. Our prayer of thanksgiving adds nothing to your greatness, but makes us grow in your grace.
The more grateful our heart is, the greater blessings we receive. A grateful heart is really a key powerful enough to open not only the door of people’s generous heart but also the holy door to God’s merciful love.