Thanking God For His Presence Among Us
Thanksgiving, what a wonderful time of year. Families and friends come together to share in an abundant feast, sharing each others' company and reminiscing about the good things that have been received or that have happened within the year. Thanksgiving certainly is a time to reflect on the many blessings we have received from God, especially ones we take for granted everyday. By thanking God for His bountiful blessings, we ourselves grow in the spirit of generosity, becoming like Him in the gift of giving of ourselves to Him and others.
Best part of all about “Thanksgiving” is that Catholics not only celebrate it as a national holiday in November, but every Sunday or, for some, everyday. By celebrating the Eucharist, we give thanks to God for the salvation won for us by Christ's death on the cross. “We carry out this command of the Lord by celebrating the memorial of his sacrifice. In doing so, we offer to the Father what he himself has given us: the gifts of his creation, bread and wine which, by the power of the Holy Spirit and by the words of Christ, have become the body and blood of Christ. Christ is thus really and mysteriously made present.” (CCC 1375) Is it not amazing how the words of consecration said by the priest, make Jesus Christ present under the form of bread and wine! This is a very special gift Catholics should appreciate: to know that Jesus is giving Himself completely to his church at all times in order to help us.
“The Eucharist is a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Father, a blessing by which the Church expresses her gratitude to God for all his benefits, for all that he has accomplished through creation, redemption, and sanctification. Eucharist means first of all 'thanksgiving.'” (CCC 1360) This is what we do each time we come to Mass, and it should be the first thing we do too, after we receive Jesus. It is through the Eucharist that we are able to participate with Jesus to fully give thanks to the Father for everything; which includes not just material things, but also circumstances, events and people. As St. Paul puts it, “In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” (1Thessalonians 5:18)
We must always remember to give thanks to God for all that we have whether it is big or small. The next time we go to Mass let's reflect on the favors God has given us so that we too, can imitate and share His goodness with others.