"And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them saying,
'This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.'"
Bestselling author, Ann Voskamp, explains that "Eucharisteo" from the original Greek
of the New Testament, translates as, "He gave thanks."
(See the interview, "Don't Worry, Be Thankful: Eucharist" with Ann Voskamp"
on The High Calling website "theologyofwork.org".)
A few months back, I finished reading Ann Voskamp's book,
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. Reading this book took me a while, as it was a "full meal deal." Although Voskamp's writing is poetically full of beautiful imagery, this was no light and fluffy cream puff to read. The memoir elements of the book teased me on to the next page, but then I would have to let the theological thoughts digest before taking on another course. Layer upon layer, I read this book and, like a solid meal, it is staying with me. I have read parts of
the book over two or three times and I have underlined generously in pencil, so I would not permanently deface the book
Our readings at mass this past Sunday included the story of Elisha telling Naaman to wash himself in the Jordan River to be healed of his leprosy. Naaman wasn't at all pleased about washing himself seven time in the muddy Jordan, but his servants convinced him to follow Elisha's directions. By doing this distasteful task, he was cleansed and went back to thank Elisha and to praise Elisha's God.
Another scripture reading was the healing of the ten lepers in Luke 17:11-19. Jesus heard the lepers calling to him, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!"
Seeing them at a distance, Jesus said, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." As they walked away, they were cleansed. One of them seeing he was healed, "turned back, praising God with a loud voice." This one man, a Samaritan, prostrated himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him.
Speaking to the healed man, Jesus asked, "Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they?" Jesus pointed out that the only man returning to praise God was a foreigner.
God is loving, giving and forgiving, but we express our ingratitude to him when we forget to say grace at meals and to thank him for all he has done and continues to do in our lives.
Today, as an act of celebrating Thanksgiving and a delayed reaction to my reading of One Thousand Gifts, I have started my own book of One Thousand Gifts.
On a lighter note, Charlie Brown, hugging his dog, Snoopy says, "What if today we were just grateful for everything?"