Giving Thanks to God
In the Gospel of Luke, we read the story of the 10 lepers. Imagine how desperate these men were for healing, living as pariahs in a society that shunned them because of their leprosy. One day, as Jesus was passing by, they cried out, “Lord have mercy!” And the Lord healed them. Of the 10 that were healed, only one came back to give thanks to God. Though all 10 received a physical healing, Jesus indicated that the one who came back received even more: his faith had brought him salvation.
I have met many men in prison who despaired of their situation and cried out, “Lord have mercy!” The Lord heard their cries and brought them to the Orthodox Faith. These men eventually emerged from the baptismal waters with hearts full of thanksgiving to the Lord. “Thank You” is on their lips more than you could ever imagine. Like the one leper, they know what the Lord has done for them and they are eternally grateful, even within the confines of prison.
Indeed, haven’t we all at one time or another cried out “Lord have mercy!” Perhaps it was in a time of illness or grief, danger or financial distress. And when the Lord showed us His mercy, have we acted like the one leper, or like the nine?
It is never too late to act like the one! This Thanksgiving we can give thanks to God from the depths of our hearts both in prayer and in almsgiving. When we do this our Thanksgiving holiday will be much more than a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. It will be a day of great spiritual blessing in our lives.
Please consider a gift to OCPM this Thanksgiving. We need your support to bring the love of Christ to men and women in prison.
May you have a very Happy Thanksgiving and even more important, a blessed day of giving thanks.