It can be frustrating when you have done something for someone else and there is no sense of gratitude for your efforts. Imagine healing ten men of leprosy, a disease in the day and age of Jesus that meant being cast out of the community for fear of you passing the disease to others, and only one has the gratitude in his heart to come back and give thanks!

I can remember my sister telling a story of how when she was working in a food shop how she refused to serve a child until she came up with the magic words of ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ The most amazing thing about her story was that the parents of the child were not at all supportive of her! One of the most important character building traits that we can instill in our children is the sense of gratitude for the good things in life that we have. There are so many people in our world who have so little and even virtually none of what we have, that it is all the more important to be grateful for what we do have, lest it be taken away from us.

A proper sense of gratitude is also the building block for a truly generous heart. The things that we have are ours only in stewardship. We take none of them with us when we die. The only things we can take with us when we die are our good works. Our good works are a sign of the types of lives we have led hereon earth. Our good works are also an indication of the level of gratitude we have in our hearts for the many blessings that life has bestowed upon us. If our good works are few, it is an indication that we take the good things in life for granted. If they are many it is a sign of an ever-growing attitude of gratitude in our hearts.

As we meditate upon the responses of the ten lepers to their healings, let us also look into our own hearts to see what sort of an attitude we have to the many blessings God has given to us. How often do we stop and say than you to Him for the gift of life? How often do we give thanks for our family and friends? There are so many things to give thanks to God for that we could do it all day! Let us try to commit ourselves to be thankful to Him on a daily basis for at least one or two things and watch the way our hearts will grow in love and generosity because of this action.

How strong is the attitude of gratitude in my life? How often do I stop and give thanks to God for … ?

Jesus, you did not miss an opportunity to thank your Father in Heaven for the good things of your life. Help my heart to grow in its desire and ability to give thanks. Teach me the truth that thanksgiving is the beginning of generosity and that true generosity is an infallible way into your heart.