Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Different Reaction

The healing of the leper that is recorded in today's Gospel (Mark 1:40-45) is in stark contrast to yesterday's healing of Peter's mother-in-law. The leper comes and begs to be healed. When Jesus complies, He instructs the man "See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed." Instead of complying with this and going to give thanks to God, the man goes off and begins telling everyone about it, making Jesus' ministry so difficult He  cannot go into a town openly.
I wonder why this man reacted in this way? Surely the request was a simple one. You would think it was the least he could do to show his gratitude. But then, I guess we are not so different. How often do we  pray and beg God for something, and then when we receive what we want we fail to give God the credit. For example, I receive many requests for prayers, be it for a health issue, job opportunity, financial difficulties, relationship troubles, etc. But so often when I hear that things worked out in a wonderful way, they will say to me "Father, I was so lucky!" God does the work and luck gets the credit!
Each day God responds to our prayers and grants our requests, in hundreds of  small and sometimes big ways. How often do we take the time to express our gratitude? One way I have tried to correct this in my own life is to reflect on prayers that were answered each day before I go to bed. As I think about my day, when I realize that God answered a prayer  in a particular way I pause and say "Thank You". It may not be much, but at least it helps me realize how often God does answer my prayers.
I invite  you to try and do the same. It just might help you have a different reaction to God's power in your life!

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