Thursday, November 26, 2015 ~ Thirty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
~ Thanksgiving Day ~
Begin Thanksgiving Day by going to Mass and giving thanks to God.
Holy Gospel: Luke 17:11-19 As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten persons with leprosy met him. They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” And when he saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As they were going they were cleansed. And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”
Meditation: Today’s gospel, translated and shortened into a news headline: “Only one out of ten people thank God.” Think about this. When was the last time you paused and thanked God for anything? Sometimes in the busyness of our lives we simply expect God to give us certain things, but we never thank him. Today is a national holiday set aside to give thanks to God for everything. Everyday should be Thanksgiving Day for all of us – thanking God our Father, with love from his children. None of us should ever think we are “above” thanking God because we feel we achieved everything on our own, attributing nothing to God – “enlightened” people often think this way. Thanking God is not a quaint thought or anything old fashioned – it is the right thing to do for all of the right reasons. I am reminded of a story that was told to me years ago. An old farmer once had a less-than-faithful relative visit him. After the farmer had bowed his head and thanked God for the food they were about to eat, the relative rudely said, “What did you do that for? There’s no God. We live in an age of enlightenment.” The old farmer smiled and said, “There is one on the farm who doesn’t thank God before he eats.” The relative sat up and said, “Who is this enlightened one?” To which the farmer quietly replied, “My pig.”
Prayer: Father all-powerful, your gifts of love are countless and your goodness infinite; as we come before you on Thanksgiving Day with gratitude for your kindness, open our hearts to have concern for every man, woman, and child, so that we may share your gifts in loving service. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Contemplation: Saying thank you to God should be part of our daily examen, part of our daily prayers, part of our spiritual life. Each of us has so much to be thankful for – and it all begins with God.