God’s generosity is ungrudging and his mercy is showered upon all, both the grateful and the ungrateful. Nine of the ten lepers healed did not return to praise God for their healing. Nevertheless, they are healed, and the wideness of God’s mercy is exalted even in their ingratitude, as it is in ours. The story of Naaman and the parable of the ten lepers of this Sunday’s readings teach us powerful lessons about remembrance, gratitude and healing.
Thankfulness is much more than saying “Thank you” because we have to. It is a way to experience the world, to perceive and to be surprised. Thankfulness is having open eyes and a short distance between the eyes and the heart. What are the signs of grateful people? Tears are always wiped away from the eyes of those who are thankful. The courage to thank, to see the gifts and experiences of this world as a gift, changes not only the person who gains this insight. It also changes the environment, the world, and those who surround that person. Grateful hearts are the hallmark of authentic Christians. Those who possess the virtue of gratitude are truly rich. They not only know how richly they have been blessed, but they continuously remember that all good things come from God.
To acknowledge others, to say thank you to others, is the mark of greatness. People bound together by gratitude are always discovering and awakening abundant sources of strength. The more thankful a person is, the richer he or she is within. Thankful people store up in their grateful memory all the good experiences of the past, just as the French proverb states:
“Gratitude is the heart’s memory.”