Monday, April 9, 2018

Colossians 1:3 – Giving Thanks

We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ continually for you...

Paul assures the Colossians that he and Timothy give thanks to God for them always, but there is more here than the apostle simply saying, “Hey, God, thanks so much for these great people!”

The Greek verb for “give thanks” is eucharisteō. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? The verb is comprised of the prefix eu, meaning “good,” and a variant of the noun charis, “grace.” When we give thanks, we are gratefully acknowledging the good grace that God has showered down upon us.

And the Eucharist is as good a grace as we can possibly receive, for in the Eucharist Jesus gives Himself to us Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. He enters into our very bodies and allows us to share in His divine life.

Paul's choice of this verb, eucharisteō, hints that he doesn't merely thank God for the Colossians in a general way. Instead, it suggests that Paul and Timothy offer the Eucharist for their fellow Christians, much like we do today. When we offer Mass for someone, living or dead, we hold that person before God in a special way and ask for an abundant outpouring of His grace, the great grace of the Mass, to envelope him or her and to heal him or her spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally, whatever is needed.

Like Paul, then, we should frequently offer Mass for our loved ones. We can do this by stopping in at our parish office and requesting Masses (there will usually be a small donation requested). We can also request Masses from organizations like the Seraphic Mass Association, the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, the Society of the Little Flower, or the Salesian Missions. At the very least, we can lift up our loved ones to God when we participate in the Mass, holding them closely in our hearts and asking our Lord for graces for them.

Then we will be like Paul and Timothy, who continually gave thanks, eucharisteō, for those they loved and served.

(Greek definitions come from, especially HELPS Word Studies.)

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