Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
by Ricardo Liong
|During every mass, the priest asks us to “give thanks to the Lord” and we
reply, “It is right to give him thanks and praise.” The celebrant then
begins the Eucharistic Prayer’s Preface with: "We do well always and
everywhere to give you thanks." Offering thanksgiving is a part of our
Eucharistic celebration. In fact the word “eucharist” came from the Greek
word meaning “thanksgiving.” Moreover we should give thanks to God not only
during mass but also in every moment of our life.
Why do we have to thank God and what do we have to be thankful for?
First is the gift of life from God. We owe our existence to God who created
us and everything else. Every new day represents a gift from God for: “This
is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it (Psalms
118:24).” Yet many, like those who had committed suicide, did not realize
and treasure this gift. Despite the influence of the Western culture of
discrimination against old age, the elders should have more reasons to be
grateful as not everyone is given a long life.
Next, we express our gratitude to God for giving us our family and friends.
A prayer posted in the Catholic Doors Ministry’s website reads: “Blessed are
You, loving Father, for all your gifts to us. Blessed are You for giving us
family and friends to be with us in times of joy and sorrow, to help us in
days of need, and to rejoice with us in moments of celebration…” As they are
usually with us, we sometimes fail to cherish their presence and support.
Then follow the gifts of His creations. These cover everything that
surrounds us and sustains our lives. In his “The Canticle of the Creatures”
St. Francis of Assisi gave thanks and praise the Lord for Brother Sun,
Sister Moon, the stars and even for Sister Death. But why include Sister
Death? Because in death, we receive God’s final gift – the gift of eternal
But the greatest gift is for God to give us His only son – Jesus Christ, our
Lord and Saviour. Nearly ten years after listening to a post-communion hymn
in Manila, these lines remain fresh in my heart:
“Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ His Son”
Those who know gratitude are full of joy and happiness for they appreciate
and value whatever blessings received: whether big or small. These persons
know how to count their blessings especially the little ones received daily.
Among others are the things we took for granted like: our daily bowl of
rice, cup of tea, laughter of our children or grandchildren, joy of our
family and friends, birds in the sky, flowers along our paths, sunshine, and
many other gifts of nature. The grateful ones remember and focus on every
blessing given by God instead of worrying and feeling sorry for themselves
particularly when encountering life’s difficulties.
Counting their blessings instead of misfortunes, they acknowledge God’s
gifts, recognize His power and accept His will. During crisis period, they
increase their faith and will not allow the situation to bring anxiety and
Ungrateful persons are often dissatisfied and have the feeling of emptiness
in their hearts. Even winning the third prize in the lottery is not enough
for them. These persons invariably expect more and feel that they deserve
the best of everything. They do not know the word “thanks” because they
thought the world owes them everything. Being selfish and self-centred, they
do not realize that the world was not created to serve them.
St. Paul reminded us to “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thes. 5:18) -
even when things go wrong. Gratitude is an attitude and a way of looking at
things. It is a Christian attitude to be thankful every day and to give
thanks in bad times as well as in good times. A way of expressing our thanks
to God is to give generously to the needy as St. Paul said “great
generosity…will produce thanksgiving to God” (2 Cor 9:11).
St. Luke told us that out of the ten lepers that Jesus cured only one
returned and thanked Him. When we heard this story we rebuked the nine and
praised the grateful leper. But in our daily lives, are we following the
nine or the lonely one?
A Sacrifice of Thanksgiving:
A meditation on Psalm 50
Serving God Always
It is so important to realize that we need Christ in our everyday life
just as much as we do for eternity. Much teaching says that salvation is
something that happens after we die. That is not right. We need
salvation every day. We need that perfect peace of Christ in our hearts
under all circumstances.
The greatest power in the world is not the Hydrogen bomb, but it is the
redeeming love of God. The Hydrogen bomb may destroy the whole world but
only the redeeming love of God can make it anew.
Peace in Christ
What is a more blessed subject than to read of the joy of the Lord Jesus
Christ remaining in you that your joy might be full?
About The Author
Ricardo Liong is a freelance writer formerly
based in Hong Kong. He contributes regularly to St. Anthony's Church
newsletter, Tsinoy.com, and other publications.
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