As I get older life seems to be passing by quicker. We live such busy lives that it can be easy for us to jump from one event to the next, checking things off our list without ever taking time to step back and take a look at the whole picture. Yet, if you are anything like me, when live moment to moment we rarely take time to step away to focus on the big picture we become focused only on ourselves and become like the 9 lepers in today’s Gospel who failed to come back to Jesus to thank him for their healing.
For many of us time is our most precious commodity, but if we are truly going to live our lives after the example of Jesus we must take time daily to step back and see the whole picture. When was the last time you stopped for a moment to recognize all of the blessings in your life? I have found that if I take 5 minutes at the end of my day to prayerfully think back on my day, asking God for forgiveness in those times when I have fallen short and giving thanks to God for all of the good things of that day, my life seems to stay in perspective.
No matter how difficult a day I have had, every night, without fail, as I prayerfully step back and evaluate my day, I find myself filled with gratitude. Gratitude for the fact that I was given another day to live, gratitude for my health, for being assigned to such a great parish, and for the many great things that happened in that day, which I may not have even recognized in the moment. This gratitude then spurs me on to greater service because in recognizing the blessings in my life I recall that I am called as a Christian to be a blessing to others.
Friends, gratitude is the root of all true love and all true sacrifice, When we recognize how much we have been given in our lives, we cannot help but be compelled to give back to God and to others. All of us have been given so much and so we must remember the words of Christ, who said “much will be required of the per\son entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” Every day as I think back over my day I give thanks to God for being at a parish with parishioners who so generously give of their time, talent and treasure to give back to God and our neighbor. Your generosity spurs me to give everything I can to serve this parish. Friends Queen of All Saints is a parish for the people and it requires your generosity to help make it the amazing life changing place it is. And so to conclude this homily I would like to invite each of us to pause for a few moments, to step back and think about the big picture of our lives and then filled with gratitude ask God how concretely He wants us to give back to Him and our neighbor.
To help us in this prayerful reflection you will find this year’s stewardship cards at the end of the pew. I invite you to use this card as a way of responding to God’s call for generosity by using this time to fill that card out and drop it in the collection basket. If you need more time please take the card home with you and return it next week or fill the card out on our website.
 Luke 12:48