September 23, 2023

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Today maybe what you could do is just find in your life something that fills you with gratitude. And this gets easier when we walk in Christ, are rooted in Christ, and build our foundation in Christ.

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Gratitude can change your life

Transcript (A New Feature!)

Each time we record something, we will provide a transcript of the recording. Enjoy!

Hello, this is Spend Five with Jesus for this Tuesday, September 12, 2023. I am the friar and it is wonderful to have you with us today.

I’m so happy today because the first reading is one of, I just think it’s a tremendous reading. I was going to say one of my favorites, but I can’t really say that. I say that a lot of times about the readings in scripture, but today really kind kind of touched my heart today and I hope that that comes through and what I share for you today. It’s Paul’s letter to the Colossians and it just really is beautiful I think.

And so what he’s describing is the qualitative way in which our faith changes us. That it’s not just that we get a little bit more knowledge so we’re smarter. It’s not just that we feel better about ourselves. When we are baptized into the Lord Jesus, into his Church, it qualitatively changes who we are. We become a beloved son or daughter of God. It’s completely different, the person that we are. And that’s what Paul is getting at in today’s reading. I mean there’s just so many beautiful phrases here, but what he says is, “As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, rooted in Him, and built upon Him, and established in the faith as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”

There’s so much to focus on here. First of all, that we walk in Christ. And what I see that is that when we’re doing whatever it is we do on a normal day, what we do on those days is we are always seeing the world through the eyes of our baptism, through the eyes of Christ, rooted in Him, built upon Him. Everything that we do comes out of this amazing change that Jesus affects in us through our baptism.

But the last line is really what I think, maybe because I’m trying to focus on this more and more in my own life, namely to be abounding in thanksgiving, or abounding in gratitude. One of the things I’ve tried to do each day is to think about those things that I should be grateful for, those things that I should be thankful for, because too often I focus on things that are not helpful for me. I have tried to become more a person of gratitude.

I think about things that cause anxiety in my life. I think about in my life things that I can’t change or I don’t have control over or I think about things that make me angry or frustrated. But really, I think what Paul is reminding us is that if we are really rooted in Christ, if we are really walking in Christ, then quite honestly what we should be doing is abounding in Thanksgiving.

In other words, to be looking around seeing all the ways in which Jesus changes our life. The ways in which Jesus can change our attitude, the way we see things, the way we treat others, the way we even view other people. All those things can be changed if in fact we are grateful for what we have been given.

Because oftentimes when we focus on not being grateful or when we aren’t grateful, we tend to find ourselves in our life looking at what we don’t have or wishing what we don’t have. We have this difficult situation at work. I wish it wasn’t true. We have something really challenging that we have to complete I wish I didn’t have this product or this project. We looked at this thing or that thing that we might want to buy and they’re focused on what we don’t have expecting that somehow when we buy it our lives will be changed for the better.

That in fact it will fill the emptiness of our heart. Now I’m not suggesting we don’t ever buy things but what I am suggesting is that if we buy things with the view that these things will solve all of our problems or make life completely different than we have completely missed the point.

And that’s what I think St. Paul is getting at with the Colossians. And so today maybe what you could do is just find in your life something to be grateful for today. Maybe it’s the fact that you have a place to live. I don’t know what the weather’s like where you are but maybe it’s that the sun is shining. The weather is beautiful as it is here in St. Louis where I am. Maybe it is for the people in your life, the people you love and care about, but whatever it is, find something today to be grateful and thank the Lord Jesus from your heart.

On the friar, you can listen to our homilies (based on the readings of the day) and reflections. You can also ask us to pray for you or to pray for others. You can subscribe to our website to be informed whenever we publish an update.

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