Of the many habits my parents have helped form in me (brushing my teeth before and after the day, scraping my plate before loading it into the dishwasher, making my bed (which I still have to improve), expressing gratitude is one I believe to be the most empowering because it is the perfect response to a person being generous towards me.
It’s possible that the Samaritan wasn’t trained in promptly writing thank-you cards like I was, but he responds quintessentially to the generosity of Christ’s healing and mercy.
It can be easy to simply say the words as a mechanical, scripted response… And sometimes, that’s appropriate. It might be off-putting to perform a song and dance for a Starbucks barista when he makes your vanilla caramel toffee nut espresso iced latte… or maybe song and dance is the only way to respond to a vanilla caramel toffee nut espresso iced latte.
However good your coffee, large lotto ticket earnings, or extravagant trip to the Caribbean Islands may be, none are even a glimpse of the sweet splendor that Christ gifts to us: His love, eternal paradise and an invitation to partake in the divine life.
“To be a saint is to be motivated by gratitude.”
(Ronald Rolheiser, Our One Great Act of Fidelity 104)
To be a saint is to receive Christ’s magnanimous love and to respond with every word we speak and every action we take in the only way appropriate.
What do we say?
During the week, Matthew Juliano is a mentor for individuals who have developmental and intellectual disabilities. He has started a Youtube Series that explains and raises awareness about the work he does, which can be found HERE. On the weekends, he is a drummer for Full Armor Band. You can find more content by Matt and his band at www.fullarmorband.com.