Wednesday, 32nd Week OT A
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Whenever I hear Psalm 23 I think of my Dad. This beautiful psalm was his favorite and it always seems to come around in the readings every year near the anniversary of his death. It was 23 years ago this Saturday that he died from melanoma and 23 years ago today that I was at his bedside as he was slowly slipping from this life to the next.
Sitting with him as he slept, I remember reciting Psalm 23 out loud over and over again, praying he could hear me and that this psalm of gratitude for God’s goodness would bring him peace as he passed into the mystery of death.
We also prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet with him, one of the most powerful prayers we can pray in the presence of the dying. In fact, as many of you know, one of the promises of the chaplet, revealed to St. Faustina by our Lord, is that “When they say this chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as a just Judge but as a merciful Savior.” I am certain that the chaplet prayers brought my Dad peace as he slowly slipped into eternity.
I mention the powerful grace of Divine Mercy because today’s gospel reading speaks to us of Christ’s mercy and our necessary response of gratitude to it.
Like the 10 lepers, Jesus is merciful to all of us who ask him to make us whole with faith and true sorrow for our sins. In fact, it is Jesus’ mercy that sustains us each and every moment of our lives. Every breath we take is a gift from our merciful Lord. If we do not recognize and appreciate the mercy and help he shows us every day, we can be said to be ungrateful.
How often have we been ungrateful to our parents, pastors, teachers, and neighbors? Do we express gratitude to God for his abundant help and mercy towards us? Are we grateful for all those he has sent and continues to send to minister to us in our time of need? Are we grateful for the many gifts he has given us, especially the gift of life itself, even when we experience suffering and pain? And, are we gracious, kind, and merciful towards our neighbor in their time of need and support?
Today let us ask Our Lord that we may never fail to recognize his loving kindness and abundant mercy toward us. Let us ask him to fill our hearts with compassion and thanksgiving, and free us from ingratitude and discontentment.
Let us ask him each and every day to help us to count our many blessings with a grateful heart and give thanks to him in all the circumstances of our lives for his inexhaustible mercy toward us.
God bless you.