Let us thank our loving Lord...
Reflections on the readings for Thanksgiving Day (November 28, 2019): SIR 50:22-24; PS 145:2-3,4-5,6-7,8-9,10-11; 1 COR 1:3-9; LK 17:11-19
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days
Thanksgiving has played a significant role in in the life of America. But it has a far longer history stretching from the Old Testament days of gathering to offer prayers and sacrifices in appreciation for God’s great blessings right up to this modern holiday when we take a time from our everyday lives to stop and offer thanks.
“The Lord is good to all and compassionate toward all His works. Let all Your works give you thanks, O Lord, and let Your faithful ones bless you. Let them discourse of the glory of Your Kingdom and speak of Your might” (Psalm 145:9-10). Today, as a community and a country, we should seek primarily to honor God, but we can also unite in celebrating the history of our country and in recognizing our relationships and our dependence on one another.
Among all the presidents of the United States who declared a day of Thanksgiving, James Madison in 1815 noted, “No people ought to feel greater obligations to celebrate the goodness of the Great Disposer of Events of the Destiny of Nations than the people of the United States.… I now recommend that a day be set apart as a day on which the people of every religious denominations may in their solemn assemblies unite their hearts and their voices in a freewill offering to their Heavenly Benefactor of their homage of thanksgiving.” In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a federal holiday, setting aside the last Thursday of November "as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father." Today then is our precious chance to thank God above all and then to also express appreciation to His people who help us in ways large and small every day. We can also reach out to many families and individuals who could use our support and care.
Suggested missionary action: We can thank God today for His blessings and help. We can also express our gratitude by helping others who are in need by offering material assistance as well as prayer. One vital way to do this is by supporting the Church’s missions.