Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Stories of Thanksgiving

I really enjoy the Thanksgiving holidays.  It's all about family and friends: no lights to hang, no presents to buy.  We simply can appreciate one another’s company.  And tell stories.  

Thursday we celebrate the Thanksgiving story—a remarkable story about people who never gave up on their dreams.  

Happy Thanksgiving
Picture it: 1620.  About 120 men, women and children set sail from Plymouth, England on a rickety 113-foot-long ship known as the Mayflower, crossed the stormy Atlantic and eventually anchored off a spot now called Plymouth, Massachusetts.  

They endured a bitterly cold winter, in which half of the group died from disease, hunger and cold. But they persevered in their quest for four freedoms: freedom of speech and of worship; freedom from fear and from want.   

One year later, in 1621, they celebrated a feast of Thanksgiving to God for their survival and harvest of plenty.  

And so on Thanksgiving Day, let us give thanks to God for our many blessings—family, relatives, friends, our freedoms and the many opportunities we have to realize our dreams.

Let us listen to the great stories around the table.  

I love great stories.

The liturgical year is a story beginning in Advent, awaiting the Messiah; then moving to the birth of the Messiah at Christmas, his dying and rising at Easter; and then throughout Sundays in ordinary time and culminating on a feast, which we celebrated Sunday: the feast of Christ the King.  

Yes, liturgically, we reach the end of the story when (to quote from a letter of Paul) every human being and all that is will be subjected to Christ “who will deliver the Kingdom of God over to his heavenly Father.”
Jesus Christ is our King, the one to whom we owe our ultimate allegiance, the image of the invisible God, the One who reestablished our friendship with God and who is our gateway to eternal life.

Which raises the question: who really are we?  In one sense we cannot answer; in another sense we cannot help but answer by the way we live and behave.   

All of us are called to be co-creators and co-stewards with God in ushering in that kingdom.  We love God to the extent that we care for one another, especially the needy.  And it is to the person of Jesus that we as a faith community owe our allegiance and thanks.

The way we use our time, talents and resources usually indicates who and what we prize most in our lives.  

How can we pledge ourselves more deeply to Jesus?  

How can be better sustain our relationships with God and with one another so that Jesus Christ will welcome us into the fullness of the kingdom of God?  

Let’s pray to live our thanksgiving story every day.

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