2019-10-1328th Sunday in Ordinary TimeRev. Msgr. Michael J. Motta, D.Min.

A friend of mine went to do some volunteer work down in Nicaragua. He spent some time in a small village along with some medical doctors and nurses. The village was pretty primitive and most of the children who lived there had no clothes and often went hungry.

The medical people were vaccinating the villagers against polio, measles and other diseases. Sometimes they had to turn children away because they had already gotten a disease. This made my friend very depressed. He began to feel guilty and asked himself whose fault all of this was and why did God permit it?

Then one day a school teacher by the name of Jose Santos sat down next to him, tilted his chair against the wall, stared up at the sky and said "Isn't it great!" He repeated what he said "Isn't it great - all that God has given us." My friend looked up and saw millions of stars in the sky. It was spectacular. He hadn't even noticed them before. The two of them just sat there for some time and stared at the sky.

The next morning my friend got up to bathe and began to notice the surroundings. Everything was green and beautiful. The water was clear and the sounds of the birds were musical.

He remembered what Jose had said. "Isn't it great - all that God has given us." Never before had he felt so thankful for all that God had done. Never before had he felt so loved. He told me "As we vaccinated the villagers that day, I had such a big smile on my face that my cheeks actually hurt towards the end of the afternoon."

The story makes 2 important points.

1. There are 2 kinds of people that Jesus is talking about in the Gospel. Those who are grateful for God's gifts to them and those who are not.

2. If children grow up to be ungrateful it's probably because they were never taught to be grateful. You will know you have done a good job of teaching when your child says Thank you for teaching me to say thank you.

We must teach our children to be grateful to God for their many blessings and the best way to do that is by our own example and our own gratitude to Almighty God.

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