Fourth Sunday of Easter
by Fr. Ivan Olmo

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his kindness endures forever.”  Name one thing, if you can, that you possess, that you believe you own, is legally your property, belongs by nature to you that you did not receive as a free special promotion or given to you from above or by a foe below or provided to you as a gift.  Not the things you feel you earned, merited, deserved, or did not deserve or those things you truly believe rightly belong to you or even those things that were borrowed, stolen, or you accidently took that do not really belong to you.  Try to name something not given to you that did not originate from God, that somehow you have freely, legally, and without any strings attached, that you can truly call your own and did not obtain from God.  For in the eyes of God our loving Creator, every good gifts comes from above, originates from him and is given by the One who is the good gift himself. If you truly take a moment to consider the question and all the ways God provides grace and lavishly bestows his gifts on his beloved children, it may surprise you to know all that God freely and graciously has given you.  We can simply consider the necessities of life – the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat – all originate with God.  Even the materials we use, the volunteers we need, the day to be able to put in a good honest day’s work, all are gifts from God.  Think of the individuals we call family, the people we call friends, the intentions we pray for, the Saints that pray for us and all the Angels that guide and protect us, all given to help us grow in the knowledge of God and live in the glorious freedom of the children of God.  Think of time, space, your senses, the change of seasons, the ability to reason, the confidence to believe, none of which you can call your own if not given from above. Giving thanks to God or to another for a job well done, or thanking someone for assisting us when we needed it the most is so appreciated but even appreciation and the ability to say thank you is a gift from God. Saying, thinking, texting, mailing or writing a thank you note, all is a precious gift from God.  Have you used your gifts to say thank you to God who gave you everything?

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