Thank God!

A popular phrase, often said with more emphasis on the day of the week than anything else: “T.G.I.F. – Thank God it’s Friday.” TGIF

A phrase often said when something lost is found, or when a crisis is avoided, but usually isn’t meant to be taken with any meaning: “Oh, thank God!

A phrase often heard at home around mealtime: “This again?!?

A phrase from the Bible:

The hope of an ungrateful person will melt like wintry frost, and flow away like waste water. Book of Wisdom 16:29

In other words, if we’re not grateful for the gifts God has given us – however big or small – we’ll quickly lose hope in our salvation. We’ll forget his love for us altogether!

I was playing a game with some people a few days ago and a guy dislocated and broke his ankle – some of the group had to take him to the hospital. While they were gone, those of us who remained prayed for him: we thanked God for his love, for our health, and we thanked God even for allowing this other guy to share in the suffering of Jesus. We maintained an “attitude of gratitude” because we knew that such an attitude will keep us hopeful of God’s love for us.Thank God

When we speak these phrases that include, “Thank God!” we should actually thank God in the moment. We need to take time each day – include it in your prayer time – to thank God for everything, even for our very existence. Doing so will remind us that God does indeed love us and has invited us to share in the salvation of his Son. Our gratitude will fill us with hope!

Thank him for your life. Thank him for your family. Thank him for your friends. Thank him for allowing you to go to school. Thank him for allowing you to have a job. Thank him for food (even if it’s the same meal over and over again) and drink. Thank him for animals and nature. Thank him for the flat tire. Thank him for the icy roads. Thank him for the red light. Thank him for everything. Thank God, literally.

Epiphany: God made manifest

Epiphany is a marvelous and rich feast. Delightfully, that richness lingers throughout this whole last week of the Christmas season as we approach the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. We see embers of that richness reflected in the prayers offered in the Church’s liturgy and in the readings proclaimed from Sacred Scripture. We hear declarations of the Kingship of Christ, manifestations of His marvelous glory, and his longing to claim His Bride.

Today the Bridegroom claims his bride, the Church, since Christ has washed her sins away in Jordan’s waters; the Magi hasten with their gifts to the royal wedding; and the wedding guests rejoice, for Christ has changed water into wine, alleluia. (Morning Prayer Antiphon)

God himself has taken on our human flesh in the Incarnation, but lest we forget in our gazing upon a sweet infant babe, the ensuing feasts quickly remind us that this sweet babe in the arms of Mary is the all-powerful King of the Universe who has broken into our world to bring light into dark places, to set captives free, and to draw not just a chosen few, but ALL, to himself.

Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you. See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples; but upon you the LORD shines, and over you appears his glory. Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance. Raise your eyes and look about; they all gather and come to you… Then you shall be radiant at what you see, your heart shall throb and overflow, for the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you, the wealth of nations shall be brought to you. (Isaiah 60:1-5)

In the early hours of Sunday morning the song God With Us by All Sons and Daughters began running through my mind. It is my Epiphany theme song! He has come to be so near to us; He is God with us. Come, stand in His glory; know His peace, hope, and light. And come as the Magi did, no matter how far you must travel, to lay all you are and all you have at His feet, even your costliest treasures. For you shall be radiant at what you see in this great king who comes to take you as His bride, and your heart shall overflow with more joy than you can imagine when His light floods your heart.

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