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A Time for Rediscovering

by Nov 25, 2021Friar Reflection

So, what is Thanksgiving?  It is a time for rediscovering the meaning of giving thanks.

To rediscover the gifts, the good things that we have been given, and not take them for granted.  We live in a society that in which we have so many material things, that we can become spoiled, we can take the many very nice material things that we have for granted.  Today is a good day to remind ourselves how fortunate we are.

To rediscover the true meaning and experience of gratitude.  As a civilized people we say thank you on a regular basis.  Just think how many times a day you say thank you.  Thank you can lose its meaning.  Much of what we do and much of what we have comes through our own efforts, so much so, we can lose the meaning and experience of true gratitude.  Which leads us to:

To rediscover our need for others in our lives.  Without resources outside of ourselves, without the gifts and talents of others, our work, our efforts might not be the same.  Without the love and affirmation of others, we would not be the individuals we are today.  Without the gifts of inventors, poets, artists, musicians, and entertainers, our lives would lose much of its excitement and beauty.

To rediscover the importance of sharing our gifts, our good fortunes with others, especially those less fortunate than us.  To give thanks for the talents and resources we have is to realize the responsibility that we have to share those resources.  It is to give thanks to God for an opportunity to change our world.

And finally, Thanksgiving is about rediscovering and appreciating the Gift of life that God has given us.

Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister in her book, “Uncommon Gratitude”, says this:

“Faith is not about understanding the ways of God.  It is not about maneuvering God into a position of human subjugation, making a God who is a benign deity who exists to see life as we do.  Faith, in fact, is not about understanding at all.  It is about awe in the face of the God of all.  And it is awe that inspires an alleluia to the human soul.”

“Faith is about reverencing precisely what we do not understand – the mystery of the Life Force that generates life for us all.  It’s about grounding ourselves in a universe so intelligent, so logical, so clearly loving that only a God in love with life could possibly account for it completely.”

The “awe” that Sister Joan writes of is central to our faith; such “awe” is at the heart of our baptismal call to follow Jesus.  That we are the beloved creation of God, that God has set this cosmos in order, that God has breathed life and love into our souls should leave us speechless and humbled that we should be so loved and cared for by our Creator.

So between the turkey, pie, the half times of the football games, between the laughter and sharing of a good time and a great Thanksgiving meal, let us take a moment to look around the table at our families, our community, and our world, and give thanks to our God and the many people who have blessed our lives.

 

 

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