We owe God our thanks

Thanksgiving, for many of us, evokes images of family, food, and football. Celebrated each year on the fourth Thursday of November (in the U.S.) and the second Monday in October in Canada, much of its original significance has been tossed aside, with the focus now on enjoying a bountiful meal consisting of turkey and a plethora of side dishes.



School children inevitably are taught the history of Thanksgiving, originally celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621 to thank God for a bountiful harvest. Days of Thanksgiving were celebrated sporadically by different states on different dates until 1863 when Abraham Lincoln, at the height of the Civil War, issued a proclamation asking all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife … [and] to heal the wounds of the nation.” He scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November and it was celebrated on that day every year until changed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the fourth Thursday in November.

While family, food, and football are good things to celebrate, we should always remember that the reason we celebrate thanksgiving is to remember those who have suffered and who are suffering, those who are less fortunate and in need of our prayers, compassion and assistance. We should never forget those who have fought and died for our freedom. They gave everything in order that we could sit at table with our loved ones and enjoy the fruits of the earth created by God.

We should also remember that we received the greatest gift of all from God, our salvation, by the death of His only Son, Jesus Christ. And because of His sacrifice, we have the opportunity to share thanksgiving more often than once a year by attending Mass, the Eucharistic celebration of the Word of God and the Sacrifice of His only Son.

Eucharist, from the Greek εὐχαριστία, or eucharistia, means thanksgiving or giving thanks. God has given us life, liberty, and love. We owe God more than we can ever hope to repay. We certainly owe him all of our devotion, adoration, and love. But above all else, we owe God our undying thanks.

May God’s blessings descend upon you and give you peace and joy. Happy Eucharist.

Deacon Chuck

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: http://deaconscorner.org. Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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