This is the hardest blog I have ever tried to write. Thanksgiving? A wonderful, family gathering. Warm with good food, stories of other thanksgivings, love shared and the joy of just being together. It’s one of my favorite holidays.
The recent terror attacks in Paris and the plight of the Syrian immigrants as they escape the tyranny of their own country to find an unwelcome in many of the countries (and states) to which they turn. This is a time of anything but thanksgiving.
But, we must be a people of thanksgiving. God is in charge. We have messed up big time but God is still God. And, there is a plan.
Some of the verses from Psalm 138 tell us how to be thankful.
“I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth.
I will worship at your holy temple
And give thanks to your name.
because of your kindness and your truth…
you have made great your promise.
When I called you answered me. (Vs. 1-3)”
Giving thanks is not just a one day affair. A famous person once said: “If the only prayer we have is one of thanks, we will have prayed enough.” Eucharist is our great prayer of thanksgiving. It is God present in the Body and Blood of Jesus in our everyday life. Tragedy is not removed from life, but we are given the strength to bear it. We need only to trust. We must be thankful.
Cardinal Joseph Bernardin once wrote:
At this table we put aside every worldly separation
based on culture, class, or other differences.
This communion is why all prejudice,
all racism, all sexism,
all deference to wealth and power must be banished
from our parishes, our homes, our lives.”
Let this be our Thanksgiving prayer:
“All powerful God, fill the hearts of your people
that the hungry may be filled with good things
and the poor and needy proclaim your glory.”
(Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers)
Sr. Kathleen Ryan, OSB