This coming Thursday, we celebrate Thanksgiving Day and we are encouraged to give thanks for the many blessings that the Lord has bestowed on us. As noted in the past, we pray that Thanksgiving Day will not be commercialized, but rather will truly be a time for reflection and thanksgiving. As we enjoy a meal together, we can reflect on our blessings and thank God for the gifts of our life, our health, our family, our friends, and our vocations. We can also give thanks for the gift of our precious faith, and for the opportunity to serve our brothers and sisters, especially our brothers and sisters in need at this time of the year. In addition, we can remember our men and women in the armed forces who are serving our country, and who may not be able to share this special time with loved ones.
This need to be thankful is addressed in this Thanksgiving Day message from Bishop Anthony Taylor, of the Diocese of Little Rock, Arkansas. He stated, “All genuine gratefulness begins in remembrance. In remembering that the lion’s share of our good fortune comes to us through the goodness of others, or for Catholics, from the goodness of God. So, as we celebrate around our Thanksgiving tables, let us be grateful and humble as we give thanks for the Lord’s blessings. As the Bible says, ‘You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.’ (Corinthians 9:11) ”
The following “A Prayer of Thanksgiving” by Reverend Adrian Porter reflects our appreciation of our many gifts and blessings:
for the shelter and comfort of our homes;
for the love and companionship of our family and friends;
for our health, and our many gifts and abilities; and for all the blessings we take for granted.
Hear our prayer for all who are less fortunate than we are and bless those who work to help them.
For Jesus Christ’s sake. 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 as we strive to embrace a spirit of appreciation and sacrifice. We can also pray that Thanksgiving Day will truly be a time to thank God for prayers answered and blessings received.
On behalf of the priests, deacons, and staff at Saint Brigid, I give thanks for the spiritual vitality of our Saint Brigid faith community, and I pray that your Thanksgiving Day will be a blessed one.