October 10, 2016

Eucharist = Give Thanks by Sharon Espeseth

"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?"


  1. thank you for this lovely reflection, Sharon. (And thanks for the wise words, Charlie Brown!)

  2. Sharon, what a wonderful idea to start your own list of gifts. I'm part way through Ann Voskamp's book, and I'm loving her voice and message. It's not an easy or light read, so it's going to take me longer than usual to finish it.
    Blessings ~ Wendy

  3. Thank you Sharon for this-I too have been moved by Ann Voskamp"s writing. I too have been reflecting on how important gratitude is in all seasons of life. I too started a list of gratitudes. And like Snoopy today I just want to be thankful for everything.

  4. Wise words, Sharon! I am thankful for you!

  5. Thanks, my friends, for your comments. I didn't think I would be the only who had read Ann Voskamp's book. If you google her name, you will find her blog, Facebook page, quotes, and so on. I am thankful for all of you too. Thanks, Pam. Blessings to all for a good Thanksgiving spirit.

  6. Sometimes we learn something not ever intended. You piece did that for me today.
    Hope you have a wonderful day!

  7. I'm glad to hear, Tammy, that you learned something from my blog. I also am privileged to pick up new inspiration, insights and information from the rest of you, my fellow bloggers. A good day to you too!


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