Today, evangelist Luke tells us what brings Jesus to praise his Father for the benefits granted to Mankind. He rejoices for the revelation made to the very simple at heart, to the smaller ones of the Kingdom. Jesus shows his joy when realizing how they accept, understand and practice what, through Him, God tells them. On other occasions, when in intimate dialogue with his Father, Jesus will also praise him for always listening to Him. He praises that leper Samaritan who, having been healed —along with other nine—, is the only one that returned, and with a loud voice glorified and thanked Jesus for the benefit received.
St. Augustine writes: «What can we better carry in our heart, or say with our mouth, or write with the pen, than these words ‘Thanks to God’? There is nothing that can be said so briefly, nor listened to with more joy, nor make you feel with more elation, nor done with more profit». This is what we are always to do with God and our neighbor, even for those gifts we are not aware of, as St. Josemaria Escriva used to write. Gratitude towards our parents, our friends, our teachers, our pals. Towards everybody that may help us, may spur us, may serve us. And logically, gratitude also, for our Mother the Church.
Gratitude is not a very “common” or practiced virtue, and, nevertheless, is one of the most pleasant to experiment. We must admit, though, that it is not an easy virtue to live with. St. Theresa asserted: «I have such a grateful heart that I could be bribed with a sardine». This has always been the saints' demeanor. And they have done it in three different ways, as St. Thomas Aquinas pointed out: first, trough the own awareness of the benefits received; secondly, by praising God externally with words; and, thirdly, by trying to pay back our benefactor with deeds, depending upon our own capabilities.