“Do I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High.”
Don’t be alarmed when you read the first verse and think ‘what on earth does this mean!’ In this context, God was challenging the Israelites asking them if there was anything in the universe that they can bring to him as an offering that was truly owned by them? The answer is - it is impossible to do that because every atom in this universe is created by our Lord Almighty. To imagine that we own such a thing that was given as a gift and bring it back to the owner as an offering just doesn’t fit, does it?
Have you ever observed how a Father or Mother becomes filled with happiness when their child thanks them? It does something in the parent’s heart when children show gratitude. Every gift would have been given without expectations, but the parent’s heart is elated when a love filled thanks is given because they understand their love is appreciated. This is exactly the same that is happening in our Father God’s heart when we give him thanksgiving and honour.
We know the story of Abel and Cain, two brothers bringing offerings to God but only one person was accepted. I would argue that the posture of Cain’s heart was not right. Was he burning the offering just as a religious act and without true thankfulness in his heart? The heart’s attitude is important when we approach God, I am sure many times we have also become complacent and whether it be in the Holy Mass or other worship gatherings, have we been ritualistic like Cain and without gratefulness towards Jesus?
MEDITATE/KNOW/IMAGINE CONSTANTLY - I will count my blessings and offer Jesus a sacrifice of thanksgiving!