Memorial of Saint John Berchmans, SJ
Thanksgiving Day (USA)
As Christians, we have been given so much. We have been given everything in Creation; we’ve been given our very lives. We’ve been given the grace of Baptism, that we might be brought into the family of God as His sons and daughters. Every grace we have received was won for us by the greatest gift God ever gave: His only Son.
Is it any wonder, then, that the “source and summit” of the Christian life is the Eucharist, the Sacrament by which Jesus gives us Himself again and again? The word itself is Greek for “thanksgiving.” Where in the United States and elsewhere a nation might set aside one day a year to show gratitude for all good gifts we, as Christians, have cause to celebrate Thanksgiving every day of the week, every moment of the day.
Jesus Christ, our gentle and generous King, asks a great deal of us, it is true. But He asks nothing of us that He Himself has not first endured or done and, as we read yesterday, He always equips us with the grace to do all that is asked of us. For our sake He gave us His Word and teaching, He gave us the apostles and the Church: at the cross He gave us His mother, His Spirit, and even after His death He gave us the very contents of His Heart. Three days later He gave us proof of the promise of everlasting life. With so generous a King, what more could we want? What have we to fear?
This Thanksgiving, as we gather with family and friends, let us be mindful of all we have received from our generous Lord. What leader, what king ever before gave his very self for the sake of his subjects? Today many of us will fill ourselves with turkey and pumpkin pie, yet our King offers His own Body and Blood as our food and drink, by which He gives us eternal life. For us, there is always a cause for thanksgiving; a feast is set before us each and every day at Mass. We have every reason to be grateful, to trust that no matter what the future holds—be it the weekend or the world’s end—our gracious King will not fail to provide all that we need, as He has always done.