Thursday, October 7, 2010

Expressing our Gratitude

Twenty Eighth Ordinary Sunday Year C

I’m sure that most of you know the children’s story of the fisherman and his wife. It is the story of a poor fisherman who lived with a wife who was never satisfied. One day, as the poor fisherman went fishing, he caught nothing till the evening. Finally, when he was ready to go home, a large fish was caught in his net. To his surprise, the fish could talk and told him that he was a prince and a son to the King of the Seas. He begged the fisherman to release him and in return he would grant any wish which the fisherman would make of him. The fisherman, being a kindly and compassionate man, released the fish without making any request. He returned home and narrated the whole story to his wife. His wife was furious and scolded him for his stupidity. She told him to go back that very instance and demand for a larger house because they both were living in an old ramshackle hut made of wood. The fisherman reluctantly went back to the fish and made the request. The fish willingly granted the request and the fisherman returned home to find in place of his old hut, a large mansion with many servants. The wife was satisfied for one night. But the following morning, the greedy wife harassed her husband to return to fish and ask for a greater gift. This time she wanted to be a duke. When the gift was granted, like the first time, she was only satisfied for a little while and began to make greater request. From a duke, she became a king, from a king she became an emperor, from an emperor she became the Pope. When she was the Pope, the poor fisherman thought that she would now be finally satisfied. But, no! The following morning, she woke the fisherman and told him that she now controlled the whole world but she was still not able to control the rising and the setting of the sun and the movement of the stars in heaven. She would not be satisfied until she became God. And so the poor fisherman returned to the beach in search for the magic fish. Now the clouds were dark and stormy and there were large waves in the sea. When the fish finally appeared, the fisherman made this last request. The fish answered: ‘Since your wife has never been satisfied with any of the earlier gifts which I had given her, I will take it all away.” With that the fish disappeared and was never seen again. The fisherman went home and discovered his wife in their old ramshackle hut and realized that all had been taken away.

Some people are never really satisfied. They will always find something to complain about. When their requests are met, they will always look for better things. The car isn’t big enough. The computer isn’t the newest. The BEC leaders are not good enough. My daughter-in-law or my son-in-law is not good enough. Or the priest isn’t good enough. Perhaps, what we truly lack is the spirit of appreciation and thanksgiving. How often do we really count our blessings? How often do we thank God for the many blessings and good things that we have received in life? How often have we thanked our father or our mother or our son or daughter or someone else and expressed our appreciation to them? Or are we only thinking about ourselves or looking for things to complain about.

In today’s gospel and in the first reading, we find two non-Jews expressing their gratitude to God – in the first reading we have the Syrian general, Namaan and in the gospel we have the Samaritan leper. What happened to the other 9 lepers who came to Jesus for healing? They were too preoccupied with themselves. They took Jesus and the gift which he had bestowed upon them for granted. Do we also take others for granted? Do we bother to say these two simple words – Thank you?

Eucharist means thanksgiving. Let us today take some time to count our blessings. Let us thank God for our family members and friends. Let us thank God for our lives and the members of this community. Let us thank God for giving us his Son Jesus. As St. Paul reminds us: “We may be unfaithful, but he is always faithful, for he cannot disown his own self.” Thanks be to God.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Terms of Use: As additional measure for security, please sign in before you leave your comments.

Please note that foul language will not be tolerated. Comments that include profanity, personal attacks, and antisocial behaviour such as "spamming" and "trolling" will be removed. Violators run the risk of being blocked permanently. You are fully responsible for the content you post. Please be responsible and stay on topic.