As this national day of giving thanks dawns, I reflect upon the first reading from St. Paul for today’s Mass of Thanksgiving. St. Paul gets to the heart of it when he says:

I give thanks to my God always on your account for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 1:4)

In a world that seems to be living at a more superficial level, it is good to be reminded of the Priority of God as the creator of all life and Jesus Christ our savior. In a world that knows much division, we are called to find our unity in being members of God’s family.  With this foundation as the starting point of our reflection today, hopefully we can find more to be grateful for, and less that disturbs us.

As we gather today around the Lord’s table for Mass and around the family table, may our first priority be gratitude to God.  May our focus today be centered on the great gifts of family and friendship.  May this day bring people together around the beauty of relationships in a spirit that is willing and able to rejoice in the gifts of love and human kindness.  May this day provide the grace for us to make time for one another celebrating our stories and family traditions.  We need this time together.  We need to make such time ‘sacred,’ focusing once again on the bonds of love so that the wounds of division may heal.

This day as people come together from around the country and neighborhoods provides the perfect opportunity for this nation to begin rebuilding relationships.  It is a time to give thanks and rediscover the common decency that is at the heart of a healthy home and society. 

Our reading today from St. Paul goes on to say: [in Christ] you were enriched in every way. (1 Corinthians 1:5)  Our greatest treasure in the Lord and our faith in him. As we give thanks for the many worldly blessings, may we have an even greater awareness of the presence and action of Christ in our lives.  St. Paul concludes today’s reading with these words: “God is faithful, and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”  (1 Corinthians 1:9)  This simple phrase demonstrates how we find our unity in Christ.  This simple truth reveals that God desires a loving relationship with each one of us.  May each of us grow in friendship with Christ, and through Christ, renew the unity and common good of our world.

This common fellowship is a call for us to not forget those who need our compassion and charity.  As we give thanks for the blessings in our life today, may we always look for opportunities to be a blessing to others as well.

Happy Thanksgiving!