Let us thank God for His blessings and mercy in good times and bad
Reflections on the readings for Thanksgiving Day (November 26, 2020): 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 “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
On this Thanksgiving Day in what has been a difficult year for so many people in this nation and around the world, we, too, offer thanks and express our faith.
On this Thanksgiving Day, we continue our tradition of expressing our gratitude to God for His blessings. Special times dedicated to prayer, praise, and thanks are seen in the Old Testament and are held today in a number of countries, often at harvest time. We usually credit the start of the particular customs in the United States with the 1621 celebration at Plymouth, in what is now Massachusetts. Pilgrims who had settled there and the local Wampanoag people gathered for several days of feasting and celebration. In 1789 President George Washington declared a day for the United States “to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God.”
In today’s Gospel, we hear a wonderful thanksgiving story – the account of Christ healing 10 lepers. These people were not only enduring a terrible disease, they were outcasts, shunned by their families and communities. And while Jews and Samaritans generally disliked each other, this group clung to each other in their mutual need and distress. Recognizing Jesus, they called out asking Him to show them pity. They must have heard of Him and the miracles He had performed and took hope in His mercy. Jesus sent them off to the priests who had to determine that they were no longer lepers and allow them to return to their homes and to society. On their way, one of them, a Samaritan, saw that he had been made whole again. He rushed back to praise God and fall at Jesus’ feet in gratitude for his life. Then our Lord gave him something even more. He said, “‘Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?’ Then He said to him, ‘Stand up and go; your faith has saved you’” (Luke 17:17-19). On this Thanksgiving Day in what has been a difficult year for so many people in this nation and around the world, we, too, offer thanks and express our faith. God is with us always. And we willingly entrust ourselves to His loving care. We can also offer our own prayers, words, and acts of loving-kindness to others who have experienced loss and suffering - and thank those who assist us.