We continue to express our gratitude to God and to our neighbors
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 “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
The liturgy for today’s Mass reminds us to focus on the gratitude that we owe to Almighty God. “The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness..."
Today we celebrate our American holiday of Thanksgiving. It is a much loved day with many national and regional customs as well as family traditions. The idea of setting aside a day or more to thank God for His blessings has a long Judeo-Christian background. The occasion in November, 1621, when the Puritans and the Wampanoag people gathered, that we usually think of as our first Thanksgiving, was also related to harvest festivals. It was through the help of the Native Americans that those who arrived from England were able to survive their first winter and grow enough crops to stay in what is now Massachusetts. With the founding of the United States of America, many states set aside days to pray and thank the Almighty and also offered opportunities to feast and spend time with family, friends and neighbors. It was President Abraham Lincoln in the midst of the Civil War who proclaimed a national Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November. This was later changed to the fourth Thursday of the month.
The liturgy for today’s Mass reminds us to focus on the gratitude that we owe to Almighty God. “The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness. 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 Your might” (Psalm 145:8-11). The difficulties and loss faced by people around the world during the last couple of years have meant great change and real hardship for many. Yet whether we can get together with loved ones or are still separated; or whether we experience other disappointments and troubles, we can still have much for which we can be grateful. Let’s start with the basics and thank God for His love and for each day He gives us to return His love and to extend it to others. If we are able to share from our bounty, then let us do so with good will and good cheer. If we or those near and dear to us have suffered then let us put our troubles in God’s hands and resolve to help others who can benefit from our kind words, deeds, and, always, prayers.