The colder weather this time of year tends to direct our thoughts to the holidays because as the old tune goes, “There’s no place like home for the holidays.” Our country is one of a few that sets aside a national day of thanksgiving, a day during which we take stock of our lives and give thanks for all the blessings we have received. Thanksgiving Day is rooted in the belief that it is right to give thanks to God from whom all good things flow.
Wouldn’t it be something if somehow the joy that rises up within us every holiday season year after year would leave an indelible mark this year on our mind, heart and soul so that our life becomes a fountain of joy from Thanksgiving in November to, say, forever? For us as Catholics, this notion should not seem far-fetched. Because, at Thanksgiving we remember to “Be thankful in all circumstances.” (I Thess. 5:18)
God’s love for us is so great that he sent us his son who, through the example of his life, shows us the path to eternal life. Thanksgiving Day should act as a continuous joy generator for us. We should rejoice always in this knowledge and let the joys this brings shine in us for all the world to see every day, not just during the holidays
There are so many reasons to be grateful for God’s goodness to us. Perhaps one of the greatest reasons is the gift of Jesus in the Eucharist, food from heaven that strengthens us on our journey through this life to eternal life. And what a benefit it is to receive the words of Jesus with the blessing of faith, “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them.” (John 6:56) May we always show our gratefulness to God for this great gift of the Lord’s real presence through our love and personal witness for the Eucharist, especially as we begin this time of Eucharistic Revival in our diocese.
As we begin the season of joy with the celebration of Thanksgiving Day, my hope is that we all take the time to pause to reflect on the true meaning of this wonderful holiday and work each day to nurture within us a strong and enduring attitude of gratitude, remembering the words of Psalm 34, “I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise shall always be in my mouth.”
Also, from my heart, know that I consider the people of our diocese and those I know from other places, among God’s greatest gifts to me. I give thanks to God for you.
It is with great joy and hope that I extend to you and your family best wishes for a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving.
May God bless you and those you love.