Overshadowed Thanksgiving. November 12, 2014

Yesterday , I went into Starbucks for the first time in over a month. They were getting the store dressed up for Christmas by pushing their famous and best blend , Thanksgiving, off to the side to make way for their ever popular christmas blend. Thanksgiving , the most beautiful and least commercial of holidays , is now lost in the Christmas shuffle and Black Friday frenzy. How ironic that the feast dedicated to giving thanks is overshadowed, and even forgotten, by a holiday that has its roots in Christ who teaches that GRATITUDE is at the heart of life. The word “Eucharist ” means just that : thanksgiving and gratitude.

At the heart of the life of the Church is thanking God for all that has been given to us. Ten lepers are healed, made WHOLE , by the healing of Jesus. They all run away, presumably in joy, with only ONE of the ten returning to thank Jesus. Irony strikes again: this person who said, “Thank you,” was a Samaritan!!!!! A “foreigner” …, an outsider, was the only one to remember where the healing came from, or rather, WHO did the healing. The God of surprises strikes again. Or maybe I should say that one human being surprised God!!!!!!
The very source of the healing, God, seems to get lost in the shuffle, like Thanksgiving, and even the celebration of God becoming flesh and blood: the Incarnation.

A life of Gratitude is a life that never puts God on the back burner nor forgets Who made all of this possible. The nine other healed lepers were probably very good people but they were disconnected with the Source of of not only the healing but their very lives. We are fast becoming a culture of disconnected individuals who have lost a sense of a personal God calling us together in a community of “connected” individuals who radiate the very presence and love of this God.
We Christians are called to be living examples of gratitude, drawing others in by our joy in the God who wants us to do our part in the transformation of the world.
This “transformation” or re-creation begins in gratitude. How can YOU surprise God?
Buen camino. Padre

(I’m brewing my own Thanksgiving coffee)

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4 thoughts on “Overshadowed Thanksgiving. November 12, 2014

  1. Brad says:

    I’m glad to hear you enjoyed a Starbucks. That must have been nice for you. Continued safe travels. Thanks for another good message today.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Welcome home Fr. Frank. Thank you for this message which is so on target. I thought you might like to know a movement which focuses on gratitude and the true meaning of Thanksgiving is being started by charitable organizations to counter Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s called Giving Tuesday and encourages people to give back in some way, not just by donating money.

    You can get more information on the links below.

    http://www.givingtuesday.org/

    Barb

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  3. Jeff Hesse says:

    Hi Father Frank! We are so glad you are home safe and sound, and hope your Camino was all that it could be. It’s funny… I was in a Starbucks recently and saw the Thanksgiving Blend and had the same reaction. I suppose it’s only a matter of time before McD’s offers the McTurkey Stuffing & Cheese — for a limited time only. Soon, all 365 days (if they aren’t already) will be claimed for multiple commercial purposes. And now maybe it’s time that we intentionally try to forget all that, and make every day a day to ask ourselves the age old question… what would Jesus do, and then act. At its most basic form, it requires no money, very little effort, and the “return on investment” is a multiple…to smile at someone on the street or hallway, to say hello, to drop as little or as much as can be afforded in the cup or jar, to hold the door, to lend a helping hand. If we all set a goal of doing at least one nice (or what Jesus would do) thing per day, what a difference. There is much more we all can and all should do. But if everyone did that, we’d have many more giving Thanks, and feeling the thanks, than would drink a cup of Thanksgiving Blend (and honestly, that has to be a small number of people!).

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