Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind— just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you— so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
“Happy Thanksgiving, Bob,” Jesus said to me.
“Thanks Lord! Happy Thanksgiving to you!
“Tell me, Bob, what are you thankful for?”
I need to think about this. I’m grateful for so much. Yes, I’ve had some challenging moments in my life, things that I would not want anyone else to experience. But even those challenges I now recognize as blessings. Perhaps that is why gratitude is important: it transforms us. Maybe gratitude is the shortest path to the kingdom of heaven.
“Lord,” I finally say, “I don’t know where to begin. I’m thankful for everything. What are you thankful for, Lord?”
As soon the question escapes my mouth, I regret asking it. What if, in the Lord’s litany of gratitude, I’m not included? The thought terrifies me. I become tense as I wait for the Lord’s answer.
Jesus laughs. “You know, I am grateful for everything too.”
—Bob Burnham is a Secular Franciscan, spiritual director, and author of Little Lessons from the Saints: 52 Simple and Surprising Ways to See the Saint in You published by Loyola Press.
Let me always give thanks Lord for everything, because gratitude seems to be the only praise well-suited to you.
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