Sister Bridget Kiniry offered this reflection at the Thanksgiving Day Mass in Domincian Convent.
Probably each of us has a heart and head full of thoughts and memories of past celebrations. Today we may find our gratefulness clouded by an awareness of all the turmoil and suffering in the world. Still, we are here giving thanks to God!
In preparing for today I kept searching for that simple thread, a common theme. Then one morning last week it came to me as I sat under those beautiful red maple trees with colors everywhere, including the bluest sky and brightest sun and the gentle, stirring sounds of morning. I looked up into the trees and the leaves were glistening gold. “Oh God,” I prayed, “if only everyone in the world could share this peace.”
“Yes,” I said, “peace and thanksgiving knit together through all of the readings today.” The Book of Sirach from 200 BCE starts, “Bless the God of all, who has done wonderous things!” Psalm 145 proclaims, “I will praise your name forever!” And Saint Paul says to the Corinthians, “I give thanks continuously for you.” And then in Luke 17, we hear of the grateful leper who was healed, and we learn that our thanks and faith are precious to God.
All these Scripture verses weave together and lead us to praise and thank God for so many things that bring peace and so many people who work for peace. The gift of the Eucharist, the total giving of love and promise of peace, nurtures, and nourishes us to go forth from here singing our thanks and praise. We are where God wants us to be, and we can do what God asks us to do. Our part is to let the world know of God’s goodness however we can and be at peace.
As we leave this liturgy, we are called to continue to greet one another with peace and share lives of peace and thanks in the community. In turn, we are blessed and thankful to share such blessings with the world. Happy Thanksgiving.
Click here for a link to the readings for this liturgy.