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Gratitude For Our Everyday Life

by Rev. Mark Connolly

The month of November is a wonderful reminder of how grateful we should be for the blessings God has poured forth into our country. Most of us might not have all the things we want in life, but most of have the things we need.

Our country, with all its problems, still feeds the poor and the needy of the world. We know when we talk about the starving people of the world that we have to live the gospel directive of Christ when he said, "when I was hungry, you gave me to eat; and thirsty, you gave me to drink." There is no doubt we could and should do more. But when you think of all the depersonalizing through technology that has taken place, we still are a country that shows compassion to those in want and need. As long as there are 800 million on this earth who earn a salary of about $400.00 a year, we cannot forget them.

November reminds us in the theology of the Church about the people who have died and gone back to God. Think of all the good parents and grandparents, the teachers, priests and nuns that have influenced our lives - all of this is a reminder of how grateful we should be to a generous God who for whatever reasons has been more generous to us than to others.

Being grateful is not something we take for granted. When you take something for granted, you fall into the trap of apathy, thinking that you are more deserving because you have received more compared to what others never received. You are blessed, they are not, God does not expect us to take his generosity for granted. Do you remember the story in the New Testament of Christ and the ten lepers. All had the hideous disease of leprosy. They came to Christ to be made clean. Christ gave them good health. And only one out of the ten came back to thank God for good health.

Do you think that this gospel story has any applications to the person reading this article? To the person reading this article, how many times have you taken your own good health for granted? Are we that different, when you think of the lepers who took God for granted? Are we any different when you compare the lepers and ourselves?

November just does not tell us the story of the Pilgrims and Plymouth Rock. November tells us of a group of people in our past who wanted freedom to worship their God and come to this country to nurture freedom of worship.

To be free to pray, to worship, to have religious beliefs, all are associated with the month of November. Isn't it sad that we have thousands of people in our history who fought to have freedom of worship while others in our country are too busy to worship God in the Mosque, the Temple, the Church of their choice? So many are always asking God to bless America. But sad to say, so many have turned off God when it comes to publically worshiping him.

November is thanksgiving time. A happy occasion. A wonderful day that reminds us that God has been generous and God has been kind. And it still is up to us to be grateful.

Grieve not ...
Nor speak of me with tears ...
but laugh and talk of me ...
as though I were beside you.
I loved you so ...
'twas Heaven here with you.

- Isla Richardson

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