This Sunday we celebrate the feast of Christ the King as we approach the end of the liturgical year of our Church. We remember in a special way what Christ means to us, and what Christ did for us, and that we are called to serve the King of Kings. This coming Thursday, we also celebrate Thanksgiving Day, and we are encouraged to give thanks for the many blessings that the Lord has bestowed on us. We are reminded to strive to not permit ourselves to get distracted by any shopping frenzies, but rather truly take time to reaffirm our commitment to make Thanksgiving Day a day for Our Lord, family and friends. As in the past, we pray that Thanksgiving Day will not be commercialized and truly will be a time for family and friends to get together to thank God for prayers answered and blessings received.
The following “Thanksgiving Table Prayer” from “Celebrating Faith: Year-round Activities for Catholic Families” by Mary Crock Farrell reflects the spirit of this special day:
O Gracious God, we give you thanks for your overflowing generosity to us.
Thank you for the blessing of the food we eat and especially for this feast today.
Thank you for our home and family and friends, especially for the presence of those gathered here.
Thank you for our health, our work and our play.
Please send help to those who are hungry, alone, sick and suffering war and violence.
Open our hearts to your love. We ask your blessing through Christ your Son. Amen.
As we reflect on this prayer, our bishops suggest that beginning Monday, the days before Thanksgiving be set aside for deeds of charity, for penance, and for prayers for economic justice. We are reminded once again that the word “Eucharist” means “giving thanks” and the Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith. Our Church leaders encourage us to remember that the Lord establishes a special bond with His community through the Eucharistic meal. It is the nourishment that fuels and sustains the spiritual vitality of our wonderful faith community. We can thank the Lord for the gift of our precious faith and for the opportunity to bond with each other by nourishing together on the Bread of Life. We can also thank Him for the opportunity to then go forth in loving service of our brothers and sisters, especially our brothers and sisters in need at this time of the year. Serving others helps us appreciate all that the Lord has given to us.
On behalf of the clergy and staff at Saint Brigid, I give thanks for our Saint Brigid faith community and I pray that your Thanksgiving Day will be a blessed one.