Today many of us will gather together with our loved ones for the first time in nearly two years. So many holidays have passed with us visiting on a screen or through a window, and I’m sure, like me, you are very grateful to be together finally. Even if you are apart from your family, there is still so much to be thankful for today. Instead of allowing bitterness to foster for the lost time, we can embrace the hope in the words of Sirach, “May he grant you joy of heart and may peace abide among you” (50:22-24). Although a more challenging response, we can see this as a blessing and an awakening to the many things we’ve learned to take for granted.
For instance, do we genuinely recognize the privilege that receiving the Eucharist—which means thanksgiving—truly is? After years of joining the Communion line, I have to confess I take this miraculous invitation for granted. Jesus humbled himself to become consumable in the Eucharist, yet does our behavior indicate how honored we are to participate in this unfathomable mystery? We become a temple for the Holy Spirit; we receive within us the body, blood, soul, and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ.
During the pandemic, I developed a holy longing for the Eucharist. I’m grateful for that experience because I needed the shake-up, to see my faith in the True Presence tested and reignited. I admit to growing complacent, expectant, and in some ways, even entitled. None of which is the proper disposition for someone about to become a living Tabernacle for the Prince of Peace, the Word of God made flesh, the Messiah, the Savior of the World. An unmatched encounter with Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, dwelling within me, utterly unworthy of this privilege, yet from a place of pure love, He comes under the guise of bread and wine.
The Gospel Proclamation for Thanksgiving Day reads, “Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18). Do you recall in the last 20 months rejoicing always as you prayed without ceasing? Did you give thanks for what God was or would do in your circumstances while acknowledging, accepting, and trusting in His will for you? St. Paul reveals, “that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.” So, how do we show our love? Simply through praise, surrender, and participation in the faith, He has given us.
Every relationship requires perseverance, dedication, and steadfastness to remain healthy and strong as we navigate life. Whether together or apart, in sickness or health, and times of bounty or sacrifice. When all is calm and bright, or when the fog clouds our view. Give thanks and praise, trust in the good God does, and the blessings yet to come. Cast aside doubts, disappointment, and bitterness, especially on this day of Thanksgiving. Embrace the promises of Christ, especially his love and mercy, which abound for all of us, and be thankful.
Allison Gingras works for WINE: Women In the New Evangelization as National WINE Steward of the Virtual Vineyard. She is a Social Media Consultant for the Diocese of Fall River and CatholicMom.com. She is a writer, speaker, and podcaster, who founded ReconciledToYou.com and developed the Stay Connected Journals for Catholic Women (OSV).
Feature Image Credit: Jill Wellington, https://pixabay.com/photos/cornucopia-thanksgiving-autumn-fall-1789664/
The views and opinions expressed in the Inspiration Daily blog are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Diocesan, the Diocesan staff, or other contributors to this blog.