November 15, 2023
by Mirielle Mason
Creighton University's School of Pharmacy and Health Professions
click here for photo and information about the writer

Wednesday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 493

Wisdom 6:1-11
Psalms 82:3-4, 6-7
Luke 17:11-19

Praying Ordinary Time

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Today’s gospel reading reminds me why it is important for gratitude not to be the exception. When someone does something kind for me, whether it be big or small, am I gracious? Do I assume that I was deserving of the gesture? Do I see their actions as part of their job responsibilities? Either way, I think I can be more gracious. With so much change going on in my life recently, the smallest things seem to get under my skin. I am merely satisfied when others behave as I expect them to in my day (speedy drive through lines, stress-free drive to work, collaborative co-workers). This is not the best state of mind to be in, surely, but it was not until I read this gospel that I saw a way to help redirect my thoughts.

Instead of frustration at the length of a drive through line, I could be grateful that I live in a country with such convenient food options and that I can afford them. Instead of irritation at my commute, I could be thankful that I have a quality car that allows me to go anywhere I need. Gratitude can do so much for our mental well-being, but also the well-being of others. When I am thankful in my interactions, I distribute positivity to others.

Think of the Samaritan who came back and thanked Jesus. I imagine how he left Jesus’ presence glowing with the possibility of a healthy future. How many people did he tell about the great works of Jesus? Were lives touched by Jesus because of this man? Furthermore, this man showed the adoration and gratitude Jesus is due.

The first reading reminds us of this as well. It is made clear that we should keep the law and walk according to the will of God. An example that comes to mind is a passage we heard a few weeks ago on Sunday,” ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31). To love our God wholly, we should praise and thank him as the Samaritan does in the Gospel reading.

Whenever I have trouble praying, I like to simply praise God for His greatness and thank him for the blessings in my life. Sometimes, I get caught up in this idea of having the perfectly structured prayer that somehow gets straight to God’s ears and is a balanced composition of thankfulness, praise, and prayerful requests. When I take a step back and just worship, I often find myself at peace. I hope that some of the readers may try this approach today and that their experiences are fruitful.

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