How Shall I Give Thanks?

By Fr. Mike Boutin

Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!"

When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed.  One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him -- and he was a Samaritan.

Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well." (Luke 17:11-19)

Listen to Sissel on YouTube singing Andrae Crouch's "My Tribute" and give thanks for music that lifts the heart and stirs the soul.

In a few days, we'll all be gathered around our Thanksgiving Day tables, and everyone will be filled with joy and gratitude (except for the turkey, which will only be filled with stuffing....).

For what will you give thanks this week?  For health? A job? Your family? Last summer's vacation? A beautiful autumn day?  Music? Your grandchildren? Your wife?

What fills your heart with joy this Thanksgiving, and in the midst of all the food and drink, gives you pause to return to the Lord like the Samaritan leper and give thanks?

Here are some of the things for which I am grateful this Thanksgiving:

My life is truly blessed: I've been a priest for 18 years, and I'm still loving it. I minister in a wonderful parish, with a great staff, and parishioners who every day teach me about God's love and God's faithfulness, and show me what it means to be a person of faith and service in this world.

My life is truly blessed: my mom is a great woman who, in spite of the loss of her husband and one of her children, is still a woman of joy and new adventures, and open and willing to grow and learn.  She smiles and laughs and looks forward to life...and my life is enriched in my relationship with her.

My life is truly blessed: with brothers and a sister who are fine human beings and good, decent people, who are wonderful parents, and make a difference in the world, and who are raising my nieces and nephews to be people who love and laugh and learn.

My life is truly blessed: with friends who support me and care for me, and love me...and maybe even spoil me sometimes...for which I am always grateful....

My life is truly blessed: I have traveled to many of the world's most beautiful places, and when I return home, I remember that home is still the most beautiful place of all.

My life is truly blessed: God loves me as I am, and that love drives me to be more and better for God and God's people.  What else could I ever want or need?

How is your life truly blessed this year?

Now pray....


Father Mike Boutin is the co-pastor of the Church of the Blessed Sacrament, Walpole, MA, and travels widely, leading pilgrimages throughout the world to various Catholic religious sites. He is a frequent speaker on liturgy, music, spirituality, and pastoral ministry.

11/25/2009 5:00:00 AM
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