On this Thursday morning, November 24th, we are into our Thanksgiving Day celebrations. Many of our parish family joined me at morning Mass to celebratre Eucharist, our greatest act of thanksgiving as members of the Body of Christ. Along with our morning prayers, it is a wonderful way of beginning the day, and of celebrating this National Holiday. The parades are on tv (90 years for Macy's), turkeys are in the oven and foods are being prepared, families will be gathering to break bread, to share fellowship, to watch football or holiday programs, and to ready ourselves for shopping. We will be tempted to binge, but hopefully we will do everything in moderation. And most especially we will pause somewhere during the day or before digging in to give thanks to the Lord, personally and as family, for His countless blessings.
Our reason to do so is rooted in a deep seeded need, one that we may not even be aware of ... to give thanks to God for his countless gifts of love and of his infinite goodness. Our prayer is that our hearts be open to have, as the Collect of this day says, "concern for every man, woman, and child". The proper Preface of the day reminds us that with the gifts of God given to us comes a responsibility and commitment to think of others, to advance their dignity, and to share with them "the good things of time and eternity".
One of my personal practices and traditions is to express my gratitude to people, to say "thanks". I thank the people at Mass for their attendance and prayers, and often hear people say "you don't need to thank me for being here ... it is what I want to do or it is my responsibility". But I take nothing for granted, and I want them to know that they are a gift to the Church and to me. Saying thanks is such a little thing, yet such a powerful recognition of how aware I am of the blessing that have come my way. And those blessing originate with our loving Heavenly Father.
The ads for St. Jude's Hospital are a great reminder to "Give Thanks" for all of our blessings. Our Diocese has a Thanksgiving message that highlights the lessons learned and the love shared in this past Year of Mercy - the theme of which is "Thanks for Giving". And the conscious awareness of just how loved and blessed we are and how much the world needs reassurance of that love and care of God, prompts us give of ourselves for the glory of God.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all on this day ... and THANK YOU for your Faith, Hope and Love shared with me and with your sisters and brothers.