The Lord taught us to be grateful for even the smallest favors: Not a cup of water that you give in my name will go unrewarded. The Samaritan who returned to give thanks left with an even greater gift: faith and the friendship of the Lord: Get up and go, your faith has saved you, Jesus told him. The nine ungrateful lepers were left without the better part he had reserved for them. The Lord expects us Christians to come to him every day and say many times: "Thank you, Lord!
As a human virtue, gratitude constitutes an effective bond between men and reveals quite accurately the inner quality of the person. "It is well born to be grateful," says popular wisdom. And if this virtue is lacking, human coexistence becomes difficult.
When we are grateful to others we keep the affectionate memory of a benefit, however small, with the desire to repay it in some way. On many occasions we can only say "thank you", or something similar. In the joy we put into that gesture goes our gratitude. And the whole day is full of small services and gifts from those around us. It costs little to show our gratitude and it does much good: it creates a better atmosphere, more cordial relations, which facilitates charity.
A person who is grateful to God is also grateful to those around him. It is easier for him to appreciate these small favors and to be grateful for them. The arrogant person, who is only interested in his own things, is incapable of giving thanks; he thinks that everything is due to him.
If we are attentive to God and to others, we will appreciate in our own home that the house is clean and in order, that someone has closed the windows to keep out the cold or the heat, that the clothes are clean and ironed.... And if ever one of these things is not as we expected, we will know how to apologize, because the number of pleasant things and favors received is countless times greater.
And when we go out into the street, the doorman deserves our thanks for guarding the house, and the lady at the pharmacy who has given us the medicines, and those who compose the newspaper and have spent the night working, and the bus driver.... All human coexistence is full of small mutual services, and how this coexistence would change if in addition to paying and charging what is fair in each case, we would be grateful for it! Gratitude in human affairs is proper to a big heart.