Giving thanks to God on a daily basis, is a fundamental aspect of our faith, one that transcends divisions and unites us as brothers and sisters in acknowledging the abundant blessings that our Heavenly Father bestows upon us.

Unfortunately, it is all too easy to forget the simple act of gratitude. We are often consumed by our desires, ambitions, and challenges, which can obscure the countless gifts that our Lord continually showers upon us. Yet, when we pause and truly open our hearts, we begin to see God’s grace in every aspect of our existence.

The Scriptures remind us of the importance of thanksgiving time and time again. In the Psalms, we read, “Give glory to the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” (Psalm 106:1). This verse encapsulates the essence of gratitude. Our gratitude should be a genuine acknowledgement of God’s eternal and boundless love for us. It is a recognition that God’s goodness is unwavering, even with the reality that each of us are imperfect.

Throughout the earthly ministry of our Lord Jesus, He set a powerful example of gratitude. He gave thanks before performing miracles, such as when He multiplied the loaves and fishes (St. Matthew 14:19) and when He raised Lazarus from the dead (St. John 11:41). Jesus demonstrated that gratitude is not only about thanking God for what we have but also about acknowledging God’s presence and power in every aspect of our lives.

Why is gratitude so important? It transforms our hearts and minds, cultivating an attitude of humility and contentment. When we express gratitude, we recognise that we are not the architects of our success, and we become aware of the many people and circumstances that have contributed to our well-being. Gratitude helps us develop a deeper relationship with God, for when we thank Him, we draw nearer to Him in prayer and worship and He draws nearer to us. (St. James 4:8)

Gratitude can have a lasting, positive impact on our relationships with others. When we are grateful, we are more inclined to be compassionate and generous. Our hearts become open to the needs of those around us, and we are more willing to share the blessings we have received. Gratitude fosters unity within our families, our communities, and the entire Church, as we realise that we are all recipients of God’s unmerited favour.

In a world where discontentment and entitlement rule the day, it is imperative that we strive to be countercultural. We must be people of gratitude, demonstrating God’s love and joy to a world in need of light. Give thanks in times of abundance and also in times of adversity, for even in our trials, God is present, working for our good (Romans 8:28). May the Holy Spirit guide us in cultivating a heart of thanksgiving, that in all circumstances, we may give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, and His love endures forever.

“Praise the Lord, ye children: praise ye the name of the Lord. Blessed be the name of the Lord, from henceforth now and for ever.” – Psalm 112:1-2, Douay-Rheims.

God bless you +

Fr. Charles