Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful to God. People often talk about being "grateful" or "thankful" for things, and yet they don't mention God, because they think that they don't believe in God. But their language betrays a deeper awareness underneath whatever explanations they give.

Gratitude is always a response to the gift of a person. And if we are "grateful" for the circumstances and elements of goodness that come to us in life, we are already acknowledging the mysterious One who bestows these blessings upon us with attention and love.

If the material universe is all that exists, then nothing is worthy of our gratitude. There is no one to recognize, no benefactor. When we say we are "thankful," our natural sensibility leads to the spontaneous expectation: "thankful to whom?"

Logically, it would make more sense to just call it "Turkey Day." But it takes more than ideology to separate the human being from his or her essential thirst for God.


We had a beautiful Thanksgiving day. I am grateful to God for the food and all the good things He provides. The turkey was about 19 lbs., and stuffed full of good things:




I am far more grateful to God for this woman who expresses herself with such generosity in making a meal like this, caring for a home, directing a class, and loving a foolish man like me with such gentleness and consistency:




Our table is full and our family comes together, including "Uncle" Walter and "Papa and Grandma." We thank God that He has given us to each other.





And then, of course, those young people who are with us every day. We are grateful to God, and always a bit astonished. He used our love for each other as the instrument to create new persons, and these beautiful new centers of intelligence and love have been entrusted to us in time.

Also, we need them if we're going to finish all this food!




The littlest person even managed to weigh more than the turkey this year (although I think the turkey still had more fat). And she thinks the jokes about her providing extra drumsticks for the meal have really gotten old:




May you all enjoy this Thanksgiving weekend, and may God keep you safe in your travels.

Let us be thankful...not to the blind and unfeeling particles of nature, but to the One who loves us and provides for us.

1 comment:

Allison said...

Thank you John for this reflection. And Happy Feast of Christ the King!