Attitude of Gratitude

Attitude of Gratitude

September 20, 2020 | N W | Blessings, Father Salvador, Generosity, Grace, Joy, Prayer, Thanksgiving, Trust

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 20, 2020 – Year A
Readings: Is 55:6-9 / Ps 145 / Phil 1:20C-24, 27A / Mt 20:1-16A
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor

A few days ago, when I read the gospel that we have just heard, I was once again reminded of one of my Mom’s favorite sayings, “If you want to be a happy soul, you should look upon the donut, and not upon the hole.” As a result of having the habit of counting her blessings, and never, never comparing herself to others for more than 105 years now of having a wonderful life in this world, my Mom is still as happy as ever.

In my homilies, I very seldom give an example of something that we are not supposed to do. I only do those kinds of narratives when I give retreats, recollections, or conferences. But the gospel today has given us one in the parable the Lord Jesus has related to us, the story of the disgruntled laborers. They are unhappy because they grumbled instead of being grateful that they have a job and that they are being justly compensated for it. Unfortunately, human and weak as we are, for some reason or another, we seem to be wired to focus on the negative side of life.

We have a tendency to focus on the clouds instead of the silver lining. For example, let’s say sometime in the past (before the pandemic) you hosted a party for 100 of your relatives, friends, and co-workers. Now at the end of the celebration, as your visitors were leaving, 99 of them were thanking you and telling you how wonderful the party was. And yet, one person – just one out of 100 – complained about everything and told you what you were supposed to have done, but that you did not do.

After all the visitors were gone and you were about to rest for the evening, who do you think you would have remembered? The 99 people who were praising you for being a wonderful host? Or the one single disgruntled person who complained? There is a very high possibility that the disgruntled one will get stuck in your mind.

In spite of the pandemic and some unfortunate incidents that are happening around us, we can say that, for the most part, the Lord God has still given us a beautiful world. Yes, we can find every reason to complain about almost everything, or we can look for every opportunity to be grateful for a blessing that we have. And we have the choice, and it will determine whether we will be disgruntled and miserable, or contented and grateful. We can complain all the time, or as the parable puts it, we can just take what we have and go and be happy with it.

But we need God’s help to be able to see the world that He has given us as a gift in its proper perspective, to see the greatest gifts showered upon us, and to be grateful for that which other people are receiving. And the good news is that the Lord promised that He will be with us always. As today’s Psalm puts it, “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him.” And may we call upon the Lord and talk with Him in a deeply personal way every single moment of our lives.

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