The Sin of Ingratitude


My beloved spiritual children in Our Risen Lord Jesus Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,



"Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us! So when He saw them, He said to them, 'Go show yourselves to the priests.' And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, 'Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?' And He said to him, 'Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well" (St. Luke 17:11-19).

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ came to heal all of fallen humanity, yet only a small number received Him in faith and thanksgiving "to give glory to God". Our prayer attitude should always be one of thanksgiving and gratitude as Orthodox Christian believers. Saint John Chrysostomos taught to "always give thanks to God for all things."

According to Professor Joseph W. Hewitt, "Gratitude is not a simple or an early emotion. Child and savage alike are notoriously lacking in it. The Greek, of course, had come to feel both the duty of gratitude and the sin of ingratitude." Seneca gives the ingrate a very low place in the moral scale, ranking him below the homicide, the tyrant, the thief, the adulterer, and the traitor. Xenophon and Aristotle insist on the necessity of gratitude.

We, at Saint Andrew, must learn how very necessary it is to be thankful, to be appreciative, to be grateful first to the Almighty and merciful God, and then to our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Our parish has been blessed with many good, generous, loving, kind, and compassionate people. People who do not seek any thanks for all that they do and contribute to our church. Most of them want and do remain anonymous.

Why is it, however, that these good people of our church are treated by some others with contempt and suspicion? Where is the gratitude? Where is the respect? Where is the love? I can only think that they feel envy rather than gratitude. Envy and even shame that they are not willing to do the same. We can only feel pity for these people.

Feel free to show your gratitude to your fellow parishioners who work so hard and give so much to our parish. Thank the donors, the Sunday School Coordinators, the members of the Parish Council, the Custodian, our Chanters, the heads and members of the Parish Ministries, the Chairman of the Festival and the Committee members, the Church Secretary, and all the people who constantly express their kinds and love to our church. Don't be unkind or ungrateful! An ingrate is a miserable person.

Remember the Divine words of Our Savior, "Where are the Nine?"

In Christ's Divine Resurrection,
+Father George