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Moments

Gratitude

The story is told about a group of wives who were instructed during a recollection to send a message of gratitude to their respective husbands. These are some of the responses that the women received: “Are you sick?” “Do you need anything?” “Can you repeat your message, please?” The best one was: “Who you?”

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In today’s Gospel (Lk. 17,11-19), Jesus teaches us the value of gratitude and how often we forget or take it for granted in our lives. “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine?” All too often we focus on what is missing, and forget to thank God for our blessings.

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Gratitude is the best attitude. If you can be grateful for everything and everyone in your life, blessed are you. If you can say “Thank you, Lord!” to all that life has given or is giving you, good or bad, happy or sad, then you are free from regrets, worries, fears, and hopelessness.

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I am edified wherever I encounter people who live grateful lives, and who are already on “payback” mode. I am disappointed when I meet people who live stressful lives and who are still on “hoarding” mode. There is no fixed ceiling when “payback” time begins, and when “hoarding” time ends. It is a choice each one of us can make at any time of our lives.

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“Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.” These words from Jesus are the basis for a grateful life. It is faith and trust in God that make us say “Thank you, Lord!” no matter what. Why? Because we believe that this God is a God who loves us and who knows what is best for us, and a God who is in control of everything and of everyone. It is faith that frees us from our fears and cares, and helps us to stand up, go, and move on.

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There are a lot of things we cannot understand or explain in our lives. There are a lot beyond our control, too, so if you are a “control freak,” sooner or later you may become stressed or discouraged and may end up distressed. The sooner we let go of the game called control, the better. May we be given the gift to see life as a gift, a mission, and a lifetime full of gratitude and appreciation.

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Today is Indigenous People’s Sunday. When I was a seminarian I experienced living with our Mangyan brothers and sisters in Oriental Mindoro. I learned so much from that encounter, especially their value of gratitude. Whenever we gave them something, they didn’t grab it with their hands; they just opened their hands and received whatever was given, along with a sincere “salamat po” and a grateful smile.

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Our God is the God of all. His love is for all, and His love is inclusive, not exclusive. May the Lord free us from whatever physical, cultural, economic, political, and religious biases. We have much to learn from each other. We must learn first and foremost to respect and listen to each other. We are brothers and sisters, and there are no greater or lesser ones among us.

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Worse than physical leprosy is the political leprosy that has been caught by our political system and government. It all starts with greed, and greed is caused by lack of values and faith. In the time of Jesus, lepers were

outcasts of society. Nowadays, our political lepers are well-entrenched in the very halls of the administrative, judicial and legislative branches of our government.

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“Count your blessings!” How often have we heard this and yet do not practice it? Worse than that, there are people who take this literally to mean counting their money every night! To them we say, share your blessings. Better still, be a blessing and be a source of blessings to others.

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Those who have experienced healing, forgiveness, deliverance, or prosperity must not forget to look up with gratitude. Do not forget also to look around you and help in any way you can. Remember, those who have been given surprises and second chances must not waste their opportunity to become better persons.

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Thought for the journey: “The finest hour in our life is when we have done good things to nameless people without expecting them to remember our acts of love and kindness.  The mathematics of life is not the multiplication of wealth, but the division of tasks, subtraction of greed, and addition of humility.”

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Sharing with you my daily prayer: “Lord, I gratefully, lovingly, and joyfully trust in you and I entrust everything and everyone to you. Amen.”

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For those preparing for marriage, or encountering marital problems, you are invited to join a Psychogenetics-Gestalt retreat at St. John the Baptist Retreat House in Tagaytay City. Please contact Gabay sa Paghilom Foundation at www.gabaysapaghilom.org, 09178092849, 09178410398, or 09178360305.

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A moment with the Lord:

Lord, help me to live a grateful and joyful life. Amen.

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TAGS: column, FAITH, Fr. Jerry M. Orbos, gratitude, Religion, trust
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