"And now, bless the God of all, who has done wondrous things on earth..." (Sirach 50:22)
Reflections on the readings for Thanksgiving Day (November 25, 2021): 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.
Most of us probably think that we are both grateful and generous persons. If we truly are, then we are dear to God’s heart. If we recognize God’s gifts to us as well as seeing the good that others share with us, we cannot help growing closer to Him.
On this Thanksgiving Day to pause and offer our gratitude and appreciation to God for life and love and the gift of serving others. While this is not an official Catholic feast day, it is a most appropriate time to rejoice in our faith and to share our blessings with others in whatever ways we can. The Gospel today is a wonderful reminder of God’s personal love for each and every person – and how much He values our thanks. “Ten persons with leprosy … raised their voices, saying, ‘Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!’ And when He saw them, He said, ‘Go show yourselves to the priests.’ As they were going they were cleansed. And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked Him. He was a Samaritan” (Luke 17:12-16). Christ knows that all ten were healed, yet only one, a foreigner, came back to humbly kneel and proclaim his thanks. And then he receives an even greater gift from our Lord: “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”
Most of us probably think that we are both grateful and generous persons. If we truly are, then we are dear to God’s heart. If we recognize God’s gifts to us as well as seeing the good that others share with us, we cannot help growing closer to Him. Pope Francis offered some thoughts on the importance of thanksgiving: “Joy springs from a grateful heart. Truly, we have received so much, so many graces, so many blessings, and we rejoice in this. It will do us good to think back on our lives with the grace of remembrance. … Let us seek the grace of remembrance so as to grow in the spirit of gratitude. Let us ask ourselves: Are we good at counting our blessings, or have we forgotten them?” At first, it may seem like a cliché to count our blessings. Yet it is anything but that. It should be as natural to us as our next breath or heartbeat. Or prayer.
Suggested missionary action: As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we can recommit ourselves to thanking God for our many blessings and sharing them with others. We can do this through acts of charity for those in need. Let us not let a day pass without helping others in some way.