THE DEGREES OF THANKSGIVING
“He threw himself on his face at the feet of Jesus and spoke His praises.” —Luke 17:16
We start off in life thanking others in order to be polite. Then we thank others, even God, in order to be just. We say such things as: “At least you can say ‘Thanks.’ ” Then the Lord calls us to thank God by faith rather than by sight (2 Cor 5:7) — to thank God when we don’t see a reason to thank Him. Then the Lord calls us to live lives of such profound and constant thanksgiving that our thanksgiving is an act of faith by which we accept salvation (see Lk 17:19).
For Christians, thanksgiving is not just a day, or even many actions; it is the atmosphere in which we live, the very fabric of the Christian life. Because God became a human being, died on the cross for us, and rose from the dead for us, we have reasons to be thankful which will always take precedence over even the worst circumstances. Thus, we should give “thanks to God the Father always and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph 5:20). We should never stop thanking God — to the point that we thank our way right through death and enter the courts of heaven with thanksgiving (Ps 100:4). There we will prostrate ourselves before God’s throne, worship Him forever, and exclaim: “Amen. Praise and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving…to our God forever and ever. Amen!” (Rv 7:12)
Today, let us accept God’s grace to move our thanksgiving up a notch. Then let us keep increasing our thanksgiving to the Lord to the point that we will thank our way into the heaven of eternal thanksgiving.
PRAYER: Father, send the Holy Spirit to teach me new dimensions of thanksgiving.
PROMISE: “Authority was given you by the Lord and sovereignty by the Most High, Who shall probe your works and scrutinize your counsels!” –Wis 6:3
PRAISE: Mother Cabrini, the first canonized U.S. citizen, founded 67 institutions to care for the sick, poor, and abandoned.