Luab: Where are the other nine?-A A +A
Saturday, October 19, 2013
LAST Sunday’s Gospel, Luke 11:29-32, spoke of Jesus Christ curing 10 lepers. He sent them to show themselves to a priest. However, along the way, one of the lepers, a Samaritan, turned back when he noticed that he was cured. He went back to Jesus and expressed his gratitude. Jesus then asked, “Where are the other nine?”
We all know that Jesus loves us so much and rarely shows disappointment when we show our lack of gratitude. If Jesus who is all-generous, all-patient and all-understanding can lament about a lack of gratitude then the virtue of being able to say “thank you” certainly ranks high in the table of virtues.
Saying “thank you” is really a result of training, of breeding. We also catch this virtue from examples shown to us in the home and by our peers.
Many in my age bracket remember our parents training us this way: Whenever we are given something by anyone, we are asked, “What do you say?”
When I started having kids, I followed the same method of training. Today I see my own children training their kids the same way.
This has already become a habit on the part of my daughters that when I brought ice cream to their house, immediately the mother of three said, “What do you say?” My five-year-old Kiko pouted and said, “I was going to say ‘thank you’ after giving lola a hug but you went very fast!”
While there are parents who are mindful of the virtue of gratitude there are still many others who are only nodding acquaintances with the words “thank you.”
Last Sunday, during the 7:30 a.m. mass at the San Isidro Parish Church, Fr. Montecillo told us of an incident that showed ingratitude.
A four-year-old jumped into a swimming pool. The others who saw him jump in thought he knew how to swim. When the boy didn’t come up, onlookers panicked. One brave man jumped in and saved the boy. After some time had passed, the mother looked for the man who saved her son. When she approached him, instead of expressing her gratitude, she asked, “Do you have the necklace of my son?”
Dear readers, often we too are like this woman. We even forget to thank God daily for the gift of life, for the gift of children, for the air that keeps us breathing, for the gift of good health, for the gift of love, etc. Why? Because most of us pray with a list of petitions in our hands. Praise God that He is so patient with us and does not give up on us. He graciously waits.
However, this is not the case with our fellowmen today. It is so rare to hear the young ones say “thank you.” On one occasion I congratulated a friend for his correct choice of his wife. At one of our breakfast meetings in the Ayala grounds, his wife asked him for a banana from the table. As soon as she received the banana, in a soft voice meant for her husband alone, she said “thank you.” I commended her by saying: “He is a lucky man. He has a beautiful wife inside and out.” Both spouses knew I meant every word.
I am always touched when I’m privileged to attend the birth of a grandchild. I cannot forget the picture, the vision of a son-in-law bending over to kiss his wife. When he says “thank you,” my eyes get filled with tears of appreciation.
You may accuse me of belonging to the lost kingdom of Camelot but I am still touched with instances of sincere gratitude. I used to have breakfast with Gene Marzan (former UP chancelor) and Pem Marzan (Atty. Fely Marzan) both from Quezon City Gene would slice cheese from a big chunk of cheese and put the slices of cheese in front of Pam. She never failed to thank him for that.
Another close friend of mine would always prepare her husband’s coffee for him and all he needed to do was to drink it. He always said “thank you” as he would send her a private look. Hooray for relationships that thrive on the niceties of life.
Gratitude is a source of joy not only to the person being thanked but also for those who are lucky enough to hear this fast disappearing trait of appreciation. To the people I care for (and you know who you are), to my readers, here is a big heartfelt “thank you” for your presence in my life.
To the persons behind the scenes in Sun.Star Cebu you have my sincere gratitude. You work late at night to make us look good. Let us thank God for the abundance of love which flows from Him to us.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 20, 2013.