THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
(Echoes of Pentecost, echoes of Soteriology).
(To all who believed in Him, He gave them power to become children of God, John 1:12)
If you are in your nineties or eighties or forties, would you rather spend the rest of our life or days looking back with gratitude, albeit paintstakingly but always looking for a reason and a person to say ‘thank you, thank you, thank you’ as Fr BJ does so often to me and many every day at Herbert House; and as I often do to the Lord and to many people of goodwill; and as many others do daily at Mass, in Praise and worship; or
Would you rather spend the same, the days, bitter, negative, complaining, criticising, lamenting and trying to change others, things and even God’s mysterious ways? Would you rather not just be childlike and childish than a complacent yet fleeting bulldozer; perpetually on the defensive or offensive? Well, to many to whom the philosophy of un peut de tous is the praxis, both the attitude of ‘thank you’ and the passion to control and correct go hand in hand as virtue is in the middle; not polarity nor absolutizing any virtue.
This my repetitive lyrics of Jesus, my Lord and Holy Spirit giver, thank you my Lord, were matched with sumptuous instrumentals from our newly ordained Fr Alex Kimbu, mhm, Cameroon. The combination is mouth watering. The message and melody are hysterical and ecstatic to me for a thank you mood and dance. The inspiration and words came from the theology course on Soteriology/Salvation – how has Jesus saved us – by His obedience to the Father, in dying for us on the cross and promising/sending/giving us the greatest gift, the Holy Spirit. Indeed, for the gift of every sacrament especially Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist and Ordination, ‘thank you’ is the refrain; not implying the least that for those happily married, gracefully anointed in serious illness or heavily forgiven in confession, ‘thank you’ is not a chorus. Indeed, for daily food and drink, wherever it comes from and to whoever provides it, ‘thank you’; for friends and family and that I am still alive, ‘thank you’; even for foes and woe, ‘thank you’. After waking from sleep, ‘thank you’ and just before lying down to sleep at night, ‘thank you’.
So sing and dance with me, with us in the rhythm of our imperfect melodies. Join the ‘offertory’, the multitude of the living and the dead, the lips of babes, of cronies, of lads and lasses, of junior and senior that daily dare for a reason to thank someone around them for a good deed, for salvation, for care and service, for the Holy Spirit and grace at work. Wasn’t that Hannah and Mary’s Magnificat, Zachariah’s Benedictus, Simeon’s Nunc Dimittis and the foreign leper’s knelt utterance?
Indeed the 2018 daily Eucharistic Congress Prayer for Liverpool Archdiocese sums it up well: we thank you Father for the love you have shown us in the gift of Jesus your Son. Keep us grateful each day for the blessings that surround us. As we are fed by you, so now send us out to share what we have received with our hungry brothers and sisters. We humbly ask your help to become the Church that you are calling us to be: a community that listens, that trusts, that lives with courage and that puts out its nets into new waters. May the gentle presence of Christ in our hearts be a source of healing, of new life and of a deeper trust in you…
Even in the middle of conflicts, brutality, political upheavals, terrorism, democratic rampage/ arrogance in our countries and around the world, we, (the Church), one and all still find a reason to say ‘thank you’ to God, to our superiors, to our parents and siblings, to our servants and colleagues, to our cantors and instrumentalists, to our artists and musicians, to our cooks and all who spice our lives in small or great ways. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Emmanuel Mbeh mhm, June 2018