Is 52:7-10; Heb 1:1-6; Jn 1:1-18 (1:1-5,9-14)
There was a story about a man who always rode a bus during wee hours while going home (usually at 5:00PM). One afternoon, there was only one seat remaining in a bus and so he sit on it immediately. An old woman caught also for the last trip rode on the bus. Since there was no available seat so the old woman stood beside him. He was a gentleman, so he gave the seat to her. When she sits on the chair, she fainted. The man did something for her and she recovered. He asked the old woman: “Are you pregnant?” “What? Are you crazy? I’m already old and unable to bear a child,” said the old woman. “I fainted because for ten years this is the first time that somebody offered me a seat. For this I thank you.”
After saying, ‘thank you’, the man fainted. So, the woman did something for him until he recovered. She asked him: “Are you pregnant?” “What? Are you crazy? I’m a man,” he said. “I fainted because for ten years that I offered my seat, this is the first time that somebody thanked me.”
Sometimes we said, “thank you for giving gifts…thank you for inviting me to your party…” Others would say also ‘thank you’ for three times, so that the host will give him something to bring home. Maybe others would also use a prominent person like the priest that he likes this food also so that the host will give something to eat in their homes. There are so many “thank you” that we can make to people who had done well to us. And for me Christmas is the right time to give thanks to God for giving us His only Son to be our Savior. But usually we only notice the gift and not the giver of the gift.
But if we owe thank to people for doing us good, how much more for God? Today, most especially, we are celebrating the birthday of Christ – A Day of Thanksgiving. The greatest gift that God exchanged for us. The early Jews thanked God not only for redemption from slavery in Egypt; they thanked Him for the air, the sun, the rain, and the crops… The early Christians inherited this thanking tradition and added another even more important element because we and the whole world are redeemed by Christ from the slavery of sin and shame and sorrow and all the ills that flesh is heir to…So they called their worship a “Thanksgiving” (in Greek, Eucharistia, in English Eucharist). So it is really necessary to give thanks to God for this wonderful and loving action of God in us. But do we give thanks to Him sincerely? If we attend mass, is it because we want to thank God or the other way around? I hope not the other way around.
How about us today, the early Christians’ successors, do we give thanks to God? Economically, we can eat three times a day and have comforts and convenience even we are in a state of poverty. Politically, we have some sort of freedom, even though not totally. Socially, there is development of some sort but not all. Spiritually, we are enriched by the reflection of many spiritual writers in the Bible, examples of so many saints and others.
So it is really necessary to give gratitude not only for the gift but also most especially for the giver, God Himself. Usually, we say that some are lucky because they have some of what they want in life, but God gives us according to our capacity to share to others. Amassing of wealth is not God’s will; it is man’s will and greediness.
What do we do when we receive a gift? Do we humbly express our gratitude by saying, ’thank you’ to the giver? Do we bring both the gift and the giver to our prayer asking God to give them more blessings?
See Today’s Readings: Year A, Year B, Year C
OPTION 01, 02, 03, 04,