All of us know what gratitude is. Despite the struggles and difficulties of life, we all know with gratitude comes a certain relief. Gratitude is what we celebrate today on this fourth Thursday of November; our Thanksgiving Day.
Each and every day, we should show our gratitude to God. In the Gospel reading at the Mass today we heard about the ten lepers who were cleansed, and the one who came back to Jesus in order to give Him thanks. And so, for those of us who had the opportunity, we too, ran to the feet of Christ, and thanked Him for His abundant blessings in our lives. We do it most profoundly by sharing in His life, in the Eucharist.
Do you know where we get the word Eucharist? We get the word from the Greeks – and their word Ευχαριστῶ (eucharisto) and it translates literally to, “thanksgiving”. Then, at the center of this word, ευχαριστω is the word χαρις (charis), which translates “grace.” And so we can say that grace stands at the heart of our thanksgiving.
As we should be thankful for family and friends, children and loved ones, reconciliation, and the food we will partake in later, all the more should we look into the heart of our thanksgiving and thank God for the spiritual graces that we have received from Him.
For all that we have is an outpouring of God’s grace and God’s generosity towards us. And as Catholics we recognize that He pours himself out for us even now.
So let us go a little bit deeper and look into the heart of God’s grace, into his love for us, his Charity. His love is what caused God to become like us, to spill his blood on the cross for our sins, and even now, make himself present to us in the Eucharist. This my friends, is what you and I are called to: not simply to give lip service or enjoy the precious time we have with our loved ones, but rather, to live the gospel message – to live the life of grace in our Charity towards others.
And so, if we are to live the heart of the Thanksgiving message (Eucharist), we must start by accepting God’s graciousness towards us, and feeling His presence with us in every task. Then, we are to be drawn out into the world in order to share His love, His very Life with the world.
Therefore, enter into the very heart of our thanksgiving. Enter into the life of Charity, and if you and I do, our thanksgiving will have a beating heart and will last not just today, but each and every day of our lives.