12/30/2020, 10.47
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Pope: Even at the end of this year, let us give thanks for good received

"To live is above all to have received" is the first of a long series of debts of gratitude to people who have cared for us "for free". A "thank you" that "we must say continuously, that the “gratitude” that Christians share with everyone, grows in meeting Jesus".

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - " To live is above all to have received", is the first of a long series of debts of gratitude to people who have cared for us "for free". A "thank you" that "we must say continuously, that the “gratitude” that Christians share with everyone, grows in meeting Jesus ".

"The prayer of thanksgiving " was the theme of Pope Francis’ general audience - still held in the library of the Apostolic Palace - during which, greeting the faithful of the various linguistic groups, he exhorted to them to also see "the good received" even “at the end of this year” marked “suffering, difficulties and the limits caused by the pandemic”.

Resuming the cycle of catechesis on prayer, Francis took his cue from the Gospel episode of the ten lepers healed by Jesus, who invites them to go to the priests, " Jesus said nothing else. He heard their prayer, their cry for mercy, and He sent them immediately to the priests. Those ten lepers trusted Him.” “But this is where the important point enters in: only one in the group, before going to the priests, returned to thank Jesus and to praise God for the grace received. And Jesus points out that that man was a Samaritan, a sort of “heretic” for the Jews of that time. Jesus comments: “Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” (17:18).”.

“This narrative, so to speak, divides the world in two: those who do not give thanks and those who do; those who take everything as if it is owed them, and those who welcome everything as a gift, as grace. The Catechism says: “every event and need can become an offering of thanksgiving” (n. 2638). The prayer of thanksgiving always begins here: to recognize that grace precedes us. We were thought of before we learned how to think; we were loved before we learned how to love; we were desired before our hearts conceived a desire. If we view life like this, then “thank you” becomes the driving force of our day.  So often we forget.”

“For us Christians, thanksgiving was the name given to the most essential Sacrament there is: the Eucharist. In fact, the Greek word, means precisely this: thanksgiving. Christians, as all believers, bless God for the gift of life. To live is above all to have received. All of us are born because someone wanted us to have life. And this is only the first of a long series of debts that we incur by living. Debts of gratitude. During our lives, more than one person has gazed on us with pure eyes, gratuitously. Often, these people are educators, catechists, persons who carried out their roles above and beyond what was required of them. And they provoked us to be grateful. Even friendship is a gift for which we should always be grateful.”

" This “gratitude” that Christians share with everyone, grows in meeting Jesus. The Gospels attest that when Jesus passed by, He often provoked joy and praise to God in those whom He met. The Gospel accounts are filled with prayerful people who are greatly touched by the coming of the Saviour. And we too are called to participate in this immense jubilation.” “This is the core: when you give thanks, you have the certainty of being loved. It is the discovery of love as the force that governs the world – as Dante said: the Love that “moves the sun and other stars” (Paradise, XXXIII, 145). We are no longer vagabonds wandering aimlessly here and there: we have a home, we dwell in Christ, and from that “dwelling” we contemplate the rest of the world which appears infinitely more beautiful to us."

" Therefore, brothers and sisters, let us seek to remain always in the joy of encountering Jesus. Let us cultivate joyfulness. The devil, instead, after having deluded us, always leaves us sad and alone. If we are in Christ, there is no sin and no threat that can ever prevent us from continuing joyfully on our way, together with many other companions on the road. Above all, let us not forget to thank: if we are bearers of gratitude, the world itself will become better, even if only a little bit, but that is enough to transmit a bit of hope. Everything is united and connected, and everyone needs to do his or her part wherever we are. The path to happiness is the one Saint Paul described at the end of one of his letters: “Pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit” (1 Thes 5:17-19). A beautiful life program”.

At the end of the audience, the Pope expressed his closeness to those affected by the earthquake that took place yesterday in Croatia.

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