Do you wonder: "Why do we need...Mother's Day - Father's Day and Thanksgiving Day?" Isn't it obvious that we ought to "honor our Mother and Father" without any special day of the year? The Divine Commandment is good enough for me. Why do Hallmark Cards and the florist and a variety of restaurants have to make Mother's Day mandatory? Every day is Mother's Day, she's Mom, honor her. Father's Day, that's a different sort of day to honor Dad. The same sentiment holds, thank Dad often. Forward to Thanksgiving Day - it's good to pause and give thanks in life, period. It's that simple.
As Roman Catholics we give thanks every time we celebrate the Lord's Presence in the Holy Eucharist. Eucharist means thanksgiving. We give thanks and remember all that the Lord has done for us. Then we go out and do the same. As people converted to Giving Thanks, we go into the world with joy and hope. As people who believe, we are a community gathered in the name of Jesus. As the Lord commanded: "As I have done for you, you shall do for others." We give thanks that we are able to be of service and love to others.
My best guess is that we need these days because we are spoiled. That best guess comes from an only child! Mom & Dad dote over us and give us good gifts aplenty. But, brats that we are, we can be selfish and take people and gifts for granted, as if we have done something to deserve everything.
Give thanks and remember who gave you - everything. Fresh Air - we added the pollutants. Good fresh bread - we add the Jif Extra Crunchy Peanut butter and fig jelly. Table wine - no real need for fine crystal. Clothing - doesn't need a swoosh or other fancy logo. Health. Police protection, fire and emergency health services. Education. Lawn and garden help. Pizza delivered to your door. Bag your groceries even if you have to supply the lousy bag. The toes and feet you have to put into your stockings. Stop and thank those who serve you, they make your life easier.
Whom do you have to pay for the stars above, the sun by day, the beautiful moon, the ocean and the delightful harrumph of the waves? Thank God.
Or grow even more selfish.
That's why Thanksgiving Day is so important. Go deep this Thanksgiving. Celebrate it with the Holy Eucharist, the Mass at the beginning of the day. Do it because you believe your life came from the One who is Holy. God doesn't need our thanks - we need to thank Him. It stops us from being selfish. When we are grateful, our gratitude, our joy, our love for God and His creation makes us better.
Thanksgiving is not a quid pro quo - a business proposition. You give me something, I give you something. God gave me life, what can I give Him in return? Life is the gift without which there can be no further gifts. He gave me the forgiveness of a huge debt SIN and the gift of eternal life. That's uppercase LIFE. He gives me, at every Eucharist, an example of THE Meal of eternity. How do you give any adequate return for all of that?
If there is any cause for disbelief it might be that we don't accept the gift of life as coming from God.
Come celebrate Thanksgiving with us - let's continue to make this a parish tradition to celebrate our inheritance by joining together for the 9:00AM Mass on Thanksgiving morning. Let's start our Thanksgiving festivities with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, and giving thanks to God - and then go play football at the park or on our field, go watch the re-run of the Macy's Parade and enjoy more football on television - - - - and continue to enjoy family and friends for a great meal of turkey, stuffing and all the trimmings.
Have a blessed holiday week!