Grace to you!
Recently, I received wonderful news about one of the things I was praying for. Over-joyed, I started to call my friends to share the good news. But then I felt the voice of God, my conscience, suggesting: “Now that God has granted my heart’s desire, why is my first response to call my friends and share the good news before first thanking God for what He has done?”
How often God gets the back seat though He is the giver of the gifts. How often we’re carried away in the euphoria of jubilation forgetting the giver of the blessings who deserves our first deo gratias (thanks be to God).
I read the story of Tobiah and Sarah and Anna in Tobit 11:5-17, I see the first thing they did before and after their needs were desired and met (received) was pray and give thanks. This is one of the secrets of the saints and great men and women who are beneficiaries of numerous blessings. They know how to constantly connect with the Giver of heavenly favors. They anticipate blessings and give thanks as well.
Do you want your heart to overflow with the joy of the Lord? Make your heart first overflow with gratitude for the little things. Gratitude for the little things we’ve received lead to rejoicing for much more bigger things to come. That is, if we’re grateful for little things, greater things will come our way. It’s a beautiful gesture of a heart disposed for heavenly blessings to give thanks for what we hope for, what we expect to receive. I call this kind of gesture proactive gratitude.
Sometimes, I reflect on why the greatest public prayer of the Church, the Mass, is called Eucharistic Celebration. First Eucharist means “giving thanks” and celebration underscores the fact that there are many participants in the holy joyful convocation. Among them include those in heaven and the saints on earth, giving thanks to God through the sacrifice of God the Son by the power of God the Holy Spirit for what He has done and what is to come. The Eucharist is praise, worship at the most sublime, superlative degree any creature can or could offer to God on earth.
As you request Mass for your needs, petitions, have you thought about requesting Mass in gratitude for who you are, what you have and what you will receive? How about also request Mass for what you hope for, the ultimate being to see God face to face?
Tomorrow, I will share with you a testimony of a friend who knows this secret of proactive gratitude and how it's powerful for our petitions.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Friday Week 9 Ordinary Time A: Tobit 11:5-17; Mark 12:35-37]
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.