Thanking God and those generous to us...
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 “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
On this Thanksgiving Day, we join together with loved ones and all in America in celebrating this beloved national holiday.
The tradition of offering thanks to God for His care and blessings goes back to the ancient Jewish Feast of Tabernacles. Over the centuries, many countries have held festivals at harvest time to express gratitude for the food that will see them through the winter and to acknowledge their dependence on God. Certainly that was the intention of the people of the Plymouth Colony in 1621 when the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people met and feasted at what is generally honored as the first Thanksgiving in what is now the United States. Presidents since George Washington have proclaimed days for the nation to show gratitude to God. In 1863, President Lincoln declared the fourth Thursday in November as our official holiday to give thanks.
While this is not specifically a religious holy day, places of worship frequently have special services. Many Catholic churches have Masses on Thanksgiving morning, often collecting food to be donated to neighbors in need. While worshipping and thanking God should remain the focus of the day, the opportunity for families and friends to gather can make it a particularly lovely occasion. “Bless the God of all, who has done wondrous things on earth; who fosters people’s growth from their mother’s womb, and fashions them according to His will! May He grant you joy of heart and may peace abide among you” (Sirach 50:22-23). Let us remember to thank others who are an important part of our lives for their love and support. And let us also think about those who do not have loved ones or who are in need of material or spiritual help. Then let us do everything possible we can to assist them at this special time.