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Thanksgiving Mass for A GRAIN OF WHEAT (Seminary Fund)



Koga Catholic Church


September 5, 2015

“Your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:19)*
What gracious words! The Samaritan with a serious skin disease had been enduring deep anguish due to the devastating malady. It was not only the matter of the flesh. He had been tortured by the agony of being discriminated, excluded, and hated. How much he must have wished to be freed from this anguish! Far from being lukewarm, his desire was so deep and strong that he expected Jesus to be the one who heals and delivers him. Do we have such strong desire and expectation and trust as his? It’s true that most of us are not suffering from any serious skin diseases, but isn’t it true as well that each of us has some profound problems on his/her hands? Some of us may just be unaware of the seriousness of the problems. Have we ever genuinely acknowledged our own problems and cried out to Jesus, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on me!”

Jesus said:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:3, 4)
The Samaritan with a serious skin disease was the very one who was poor in spirit and mourning. Then he received healing with great joy and in turn glorified God with great thanksgiving. He offered praise to God who hears our heart’s desires and takes pains away from those who are suffering. Have we ever praised God with such great joy and thanksgiving as his? Or are we complaining about many things instead?
St. Paul exhorts in today’s first reading:
“And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Col 3:15-17)
How wonderful it would be if we can always be thankful and glorify God with gratitude!
And to “do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus” means doing as Jesus does and doing on behalf of Jesus. Doesn’t it mean doing what I would do if I were Jesus?
“Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” (Col 3:13)
Memories and experiences of being forgiven are very important. Could it be that memories of forgiving are clear but those of being forgiven are dim, and that we are even unaware of having been forgiven? Sometimes we realize that we were forgiven only when we find ourselves in the position of forgiving years later.

So let us ask the Holy Spirit each and every day to guide our feet into the path of joy in glorifying God with gratitude, forgiving one another and helping one another.

*Luke 7:50 to a sinful woman
Luke 18:42 to a blind man near Jericho
Matthew 9:22 to a woman suffering hemorrhages



[All the Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition (NRSVCE), copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ]

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