More than any other national holiday Thanksgiving is family-centered. Although many of us are scattered and apart from our loved ones, we return in spirit, if not in person for Thanksgiving. It is a time when we are reminded that people are more important than things. This year we are especially mindful of the men and women of our armed forces, at home and abroad, whose mission to insure our freedom separates them from home and family on this holiday.
We truly have much to be thankful for in this great nation of ours. Even in this tumultuous time, compared to most of the people in the world, we live in a nation of great security and abundance. As we sit in front of our HD TV window-on-the-world, safely witnessing the wars and natural disasters that sweep the globe, few of us ever go to bed hungry. But 925 million people do go to bed and wake up hungry every day. The world is facing a hunger crisis unlike anything it has seen in more than 50 years. May the love of Christ move us to share our great abundance with our brothers and sisters in need.
Let us also remember that we enjoy freedoms not even dreamed of in many parts of the world, including the freedom to express ourselves without fear of retaliation. Reflect for a moment on the great democratic exercise we have just gone through during the mid-term elections. Campaigns got raucous and, to many, seemed to cross the lines of civility to mean-spiritedness. But it is time now to move on and work together for the good of our country.
Indeed, Thanksgiving is a time of healing. It is a time to realize how we tend to let hurts and disagreements keep us apart from family and friends and sometimes even from other members of our Catholic family. My fervent prayer is that we all may be reconciled.
So, let us thank God for all that He has given us. And, perhaps we might pause and thank Him for those things that, in his great wisdom, he has withheld from us.
I ask His blessings and mercy on you all and wish you a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving.