Thursday of 34th Week of Ordinary C--Thanksgiving

Giving Thanks

Joke: It was Thanksgiving season in the nursing home. The small resident population was gathered about their humble Thanksgiving table, and the director asked each in turn to express one thing for which they were thankful. Thanks were expressed for a home in which to stay, families, etc. One little old lady when her turn came said, ’I thank the Lord for two perfectly good teeth, one in my upper jaw and one in my lower jaw that match so that I can chew my food.’

Every year, America celebrates Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November. In the Catholic Church of America, we gather together to give thanks to God for all the blessings of the year. In giving thanks to God, the Church puts all today’s readings to help us to express our thanks to God in all things. The question is: Have we had anything to give thanks to God? What would we give him thanks for?

In today’s Gospel, ten men had leprosy disease, and they were all healed at the same time because they called out on the mercy of the Lord Jesus. All of them had faith in the Lord Jesus, to go to show themselves to the priests that they were cleansed from leprosy, but only one came back to thank Jesus. Why? Perhaps, because Jesus was a healer that anyone came to him for healing, he healed them. He had power to heal, so there was no need to thank him. It was just natural power to heal the sick, to cure the disease, and to even raise the dead back to life again. It was like Tylenol or Advil to cure our headache, but how many people remembered to thank those who developed this medicines to cure our headache? When we go to see a doctor for a cold or any illness, and when we got healed from it. How many of us remembered to come back to give thanks to the doctor? Or it’s just his job and his expertise to cure our sickness and illness?

All called out to the Lord. Does it sound like us? We all pray, perhaps, every day. What if we received what we prayed for just like these ten lepers, have we continued to pray? Or we stop praying?

All ten lepers, with faith in Jesus, went to show themselves of cleansing from leprosy, we too might have faith to profess ourselves on our lips that we are Christians, believers of Christ. However, if we compared the church attendants with football game attendants or the attendants at the shopping malls on black Friday, the church attendants on Sundays & holy days of obligation seems not to exist. Even though we all may profess that “In God we trust,” have we truly trusted in God?

Three things: To have faith in God, to keep our faith in the Lord, and to live that faith in the Lord. I’m sure that you might all agree with me that we have no problem to have faith in God whom we cannot even see, so no problem to have faith in him. But if we need to keep our faith in him, would that be no problem neither? Let says that we have no problem to have faith in the Lord and to keep our faith in him, but would we be able to live out the faith that we believe in him? To believe in the Lord might be different to live the faith that we profess. We can have faith, but if we cannot live that faith, it means nothing. What Saint James said in his writing, “Faith without works is dead.”

Part of living our faith is to give thanks to God unceasingly in our daily lives. To give thanks to God is by attending Church regularly and to set priority to worship the Lord above all things. How would you and I give thanks to God on this Thanksgiving and every day of our lives? Would you and I have anything to give thanks to God? The decision is yours.

 

Weekday Homilies 2019

Homilies by Fr. Joseph Thang Nguyen


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