Herald Journal Columns
Dec. 2, 2002
Pastor's Column

What is our attitude of gratitude towards God?

By Rev. Robert Mraz
Holy Family Catholic Church, Silver Lake

Psalm 50:12-15 says " If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and all it holds is mine. Do I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High. Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me."

This verse tells us that in the worship of the temple, when animals were given in sacrifice to God, that God does not need the animals for he owns the whole world.

What God wants with the sacrifices is not the animals ­ but what they should signify, a heart full of thanksgiving for what God has given and done for us.

That is true worship ­ not just the giving up of something to God out of obligation or to get something, but because we have an "attitude of gratitude."

If we have that attitude of gratitude, and out of gratitude and thankfulness pay our vows or live our lives ­ then we are truly children of God.

If we have that attitude of gratitude, then it shows. We have a great love of God, because we first understand that God loved us first.

If we have that attitude of gratitude, then we are more willing to do the will of the one who loves us, we are people of virtue.

If we have that attitude of gratitude, we do not see the half empty glass when problems come, but the half full glass of undeserved blessings.

If we have that attitude of gratitude, we do not see strangers or enemies, but brothers and sisters whom we may not know or who need our compassion, understanding, prayers and support.

If we have that attitude of gratitude, we have a close relationship with God, because we see his face and beauty in everything and every face we see.

If we have that attitude of gratitude, we are easier to live with, we are more hopeful, more optimistic and positive and thereby have more family and friends who will love and support us ­ than someone who is negative and is never happy with anything or anyone.

If we have that attitude of gratitude, then when we are in trouble or in need God answers us.

Why?

Because we are close to Him in doing His will. Because we love Him as He loves us. Because we allow others to be His hands, feet and presence to us, seeing God in others ­ allowing them to give us that helping hand we need as we have helpted them. Because we have returned God's love by loving others as God loves us.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, let us remember it is not about turkey and pumpkin pie, but about the God who gave us our lives, our family and friends; who gave us the food on our table and the love to share in our lives.

All God asks back is a sacrifice of thanksgiving ­ a daily "attitude of gratitude." Then we will find something every day to be thankful for and the One who loved us first.


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