Giving thanks is embedded in our Catholic and our American DNA. Eucharist comes from the Greek word for grateful, or giving thanks, thus our “Sacrament of Sacraments” is one of thanksgiving. In America, Thanksgiving as a feast celebrating thanks by sharing, is part of our earliest tradition.
It is interesting that both the Eucharist and Thanksgiving are community events as the words of the old German hymn Now thank we all our God, based on Sirach 50 and 51, reminds us. The Eucharistic prayer begins with the words, “Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.” Our annual Thanksgiving celebration is traditionally one to be shared with family and friends.
So, for what are we thankful? Of course, we should give thanks for our gift of faith, for the gift of Jesus, our Savior. We should be grateful to God for the gift of family and friends, for good health, for material blessings — and for life — the blessing of being.
It is important to remember to give thanks not only for those things we have received but also for those things we desired, but in the wisdom of God, or our parents, we were denied for our own good.
Finally, let us give thanks for love, the love of God and of others. That unconditional love that hopes and forgives. As we learn in 1 John 4:16, God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.
I pray that you and yours will share in God’s abundant love this Thanksgiving.
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