Monday November 23, 2015

A Catholic Thanksgiving

When we think about Thanksgiving, a few things may come to mind: food, family, football. All great things, and provided the right team wins, all things to be thankful for. The holiday of Thanksgiving was first nationalized in 1863 by President Lincoln, and baring some changes to the date, became tradition. Thanksgiving is to be a time of rejoicing and celebration, for the gifts we have received this year.

As Catholics, ‘thanksgiving’ should have a deeper meaning than it does for the average American. The Greek word for thanksgiving is eucharistia.  This word is where we get the word Eucharist. For Catholics, every Sunday is a time of thanksgiving. We gather as a church family, saints and angels among us, to partake in the feast of ultimate thanksgiving. We do not eat turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, or pecan pie. Instead, we receive the wholeness of God in the Eucharist. The Eucharist is for Catholics a call for thanksgiving, an act of thanksgiving, and a cause for thanksgiving. We are called through the Eucharist to thank those around us who have helped to form us in our faith. We are giving thanks to God in the celebration, for the lives he has given us. And we should thank God for this wonderful act of love he has given us.

One of the many things which I am thankful for this year is my Catholic education. I grew up in Catholic schools, and they have helped form me to be the person I am today. Elementary and middle school provided me many great lessons and importantly a foundation on which my faith could be built. High school provided me with not only a high quality education, but also a calling. It was in my senior year, I knew I wanted to teach religion, but in many ways my whole experience through Catholic education led me to this decision. For this I am thankful.

This Thanksgiving, think about why you are giving thanks, and for what you want to give thanks. Remember as Catholics, we receive this opportunity not only once a year, but every week at Mass. One of the things, which I am thankful for, is Catholic Education. If you have been influenced by Catholic education, find some way to say thank you, even if it is just a prayer.

Please pray this prayer with us and have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Thank you, Father, for having created us and given us to each other in the human family. Thank you for being with us in all our joys and sorrows, for your comfort in our sadness, your companionship in our loneliness. Thank you for yesterday, today, tomorrow and for the whole of our lives. Thank you for friends, for health and for grace. May we live this and every day conscious of all that has been given to us.

Written by: Joseph Twiner

Edited by: Victoria Schoen

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