By Rev. Frederick Zagone, S.J., Vice President for Mission and Ministry
Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week? Even with the barrage of Christmas advertising already before us, it seems too early for the holidays to be upon us.
It is also difficult thinking about what we have to be thankful for this year. Just look at the news. The mass shootings across the country — Pittsburgh, Kentucky, California. The abuse (and cover-ups) within our own church. The massive wild fires in the west. So many have lost so much.
But in thinking about Thanksgiving, we must rely upon and remember that we are people of faith. It is faith that led the Israelites out of Egypt. In was faith that prompted people to follow Jesus. It was faith that led our ancestors to come to this great country. And it is faith that gives us a reason to have hope. To believe. To give thanks.
Thanksgiving has the distinction that its celebration is not limited to a single religion, race, or ethnic origin. It is truly an American celebration that can be celebrated by all. As we rejoice in Thanksgiving, let us be mindful of the many gifts and graces that God has given us individually, and as a community. We thank God for these. May they nourish us and strengthen us as we strive to build the kingdom of God in our lives, in our homes, in our hearts. May your Thanksgiving table be graced with family, good food, and good friends.
A Prayer for the Thanksgiving Table
O Gracious God, we give you thanks for your overflowing generosity to us. Thank you for the blessings 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.
From Celebrating Faith: Year-round Activities For Catholic Families, by Mary Cronk Farrell