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Are you grateful?

I remember a young man who entered the seminary. He went through high school and college but found after much discernment that he was not cut out for the priesthood.

Outside he pursued further studies and eventually landed in a big company. Looking back, he did not forget the good education and training he received.

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As an act of gratitude, he donated occasionally some amounts with the note: “I received a lot of good things while studying in the seminary. I’m sure there are seminarians who have the priestly vocation but are in need of financial support. I’m offering this little amount – my way of thanking the seminary for making me what I am today.”

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Here’s a man who knew how to be grateful. He exemplifies the grateful Naaman in the first reading of this 28th Sunday Mass who was cured of leprosy (2 Kgs 5, 14) and the Samaritan in the gospel who was one of the 10 recipients of God’s grace and favor.

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Somebody said, “Gratitude is memory of the heart.” Ingrates have no memories, no remembrances. In local parlance, walang utang na loob.

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Ungrateful people are proud. What they accept as help from people they consider as something due to them. Is it any wonder that our Lord in the gospel was hurt when, out of the 10 recipients of His good deed, only one returned to say “thank you”? “There were 10 made clean; where are the other nine?” And the one was even a Samaritan, a foreigner.

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Are we grateful people? Just think of our prayers to God. Aren’t they almost all prayers of petition, “Gimme, gimme Lord”?

I have nothing against prayers of petition because I also pray a lot of these. But do we remember to thank God for what we have received?

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The gift of life, our health, an extraordinary talent we think as absolutely ours, to mention some. Or the free gifts of Nature like the air we breathe, sunlight, water, plants.

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Are we grateful also for failures, adversities and bad experiences?

A priest, visiting a remote village chapel, delivered a homily on “Gratitude.” Later, when it was time for the collection, an usher used the preacher’s hat to take up the offering.

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When the hat came back to him, the priest shook it carefully, but heard no sound. Then he turned it upside down but nothing came out. It was empty!

Seeing this, the clergyman raised his hands to heaven, still holding the empty hat, and said, “I thank You Lord that, at least, I got back my hat!”

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One last thing to remember. When a person is grateful, the benefactor feels inspired to do more and more for him.

And if this is the natural response of human beings, how much more with God! So always be grateful to God and your benefactors.

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LAFF ONE ANOTHER. A drunken man boards a bus. A Bible preacher goes to him and scolds him, “You’re going straight to hell!

The man exclaims, “My gosh, then I’m on the wrong bus!”

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Teacher: How many liters does a Coke LITRO have? Pupil (Visayan): 4 liters ma’am.

Teacher: How come? Pupil: Liter C, Liter O, Liter K, Liter E. (Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD)

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