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An Attitude of Gratitude: Weekly Message for 11-22-16
Dear Friends in Christ,
Thanksgiving is almost upon us (in the United States), and this year it coincides with the last liturgical week in Ordinary Time. What a perfect opportunity to reflect on all of the Lord’s blessings over the liturgical year in order to help us either fortify or regain an attitude of gratitude and get ready to start Advent.
Sometimes we can fall into the trap of focusing on the ingratitude we’ve been shown, and that can be toxic. We’ve all taken stock once in a while of the gratitude we’ve received, but how many times do we take stock of the gratitude we’ve shown? Here are two simple tests. First, do a search in your e-mail to see how many instances of the word “thank” that you find in your Inbox, and how many you find in your Sent Items folder. Second, tally of how many times in a day to you’ve heard or said “thank you.” The gratitude we’ve been shown helps us to foster the gratitude we should show.
The first thanksgiving for the harvest in the United States is believed to have been celebrated by the pilgrims and Native Americans in 1621, but as believers we have been gathering to give thanks for millennia. The word “Eucharist” in its original Greek literally means “thanksgiving.” Every celebration of the Eucharist is an act of thanksgiving, which is why it’s so appropriate that in the United States liturgical prayers have been composed for Thanksgiving Day. Just as family gathers together on Thanksgiving Day to share a meal in thanks for the gift of each other, the family of faith gathers in liturgical celebrations throughout the world to thank the Father for his countless gifts of love and infinite goodness. Why not celebrate Thanksgiving this year attending Mass in addition to all your other family festivities?
An attitude of gratitude shapes the way we see and face everything, good and bad, in life. With family and friends on Thanksgiving let’s not just focus on football, food, or bargain basement prices, but on the gift of the faith and the gift of God’s love.
God bless you and, with gratitude,
Father Nikola Derpich, L.C.
Finding the Plug author