Day 12 – An Ungrateful Heart




On His way to Jerusalem, Jesus travelled through Samaria and Galilee. Ten lepers met Jesus there. Jesus had compassion on them, healed them as He sent them away, asking them to show themselves to the priests. However, out of the ten lepers, only one of them came back to thank Jesus and praise God.

Jesus said, "Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine?"

(Luke 17:17)

Few of us would identify ourselves with the nine ungrateful lepers. Indeed, when we are asked, oftentimes we tell people that we are grateful to God for what has been given to us. However, thankfulness is not merely an acknowledgement in words. Genuine and sincere thankfulness should transform us in both our attitudes and actions.

God has never stopped providing for us and giving us every single gift in our lives. He is the source of all the goodness of the world that we can find. To give is His nature and it gives Him great pleasure that we receive His gifts. They are freely given to us without price. The only way we can "repay" Him is to be grateful to Him, and to remain in Him so that He can continue to provide for us. He is such a GIVER! And to be grateful to Him and to remain in Him is the best way we can "return" His love.

Unfortunately, we are forgetful and we are ungrateful. We only take delight on the gifts and we forget about the Giver!

This is what happens when we give a little child a gift. He will say thanks and then off he goes, hiding in a corner, and being carried away by the fascination of opening a gift. Can we not identify with this little kid at times when God gives us presents? Aren't we like the younger son in the parable of the lost son? Are we also lost in our ungratefulness?

Focussing on the gift and not the Giver is a sign of immaturity in our relationship with God.

God has given us all the gifts of the world so that we can enjoy the gifts with Him, and not to enjoy them privately. Through these gifts, God wants to reveal Himself to us. We can get to know Him better through these gifts and to know how much we are loved. As a response, we know how to relate to Him and love Him, and we return His love by sharing those gifts with others. This is the circle of giving that God has originally designed. However, with our immaturity, we take ownership of all the gifts, instead of being a steward of those gifts. We want to guard what has been entrusted to us and turn those gifts into our private possessions.

When we enclose ourselves in our greediness and ingratitude, we wander in our distant country.


Can you identify yourself with the nine lepers, the little child mentioned in the reflection, and the younger son?

How did you relate to God, the unconditional GIVER?

Have you privatized the gifts God has freely given and entrusted to you, or do you see yourself as a steward of those gifts?


Dear Heavenly Father, I am shocked to realize how ungrateful I have been to You all these years! I can imagine how disappointed You are as an unconditional giver and lover! I really feel ashamed to face You and I kneel before You, my God. Yet, I feel Your tenderness and Your forgiveness are embracing me, telling me gently to stand up like the leper who returned. I know You want to reassure me of Your everlasting love. Lord, I will not leave you anymore, and I desire to remain in You just as You remain in me. Father, I love you!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

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