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Homily for Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day

Saint John Baptist de LaSalle November 23, 2023

 

Today, here in our country, we celebrate a day we call Thanksgiving. There is always plenty for people to eat, and at least, no matter how poor off you may be, a wonderful meal awaits you if you simply ask. I do indeed like the Thanksgiving meal, but more importantly, I was trying to reflect on what I would like to thank God for.

 

So, I thank you, God, for I am grateful for so many things. I am grateful, God, for the gift of life and for the time you have let me live on this earth. Without you, I would not be here. Without you, nothing would be here. Without you, nothing would be at all. I'm grateful for my parents, though their time on earth has ended and they are with you. For they loved me as best they could, worked hard to feed and clothe me. There are many things they have done for me that I can no longer remember, but I can be grateful for the things that I know.

 

I am also grateful for the family you provided me with; even though we were not perfect, or completely functional, we did gather together many times and tried to thank you. Yes, I know that all families are a little nutty, and mine is no exception. But I am thankful for even the nuttiness, for I am part of a family who helped make me the kind of person that I am. I am grateful for my friends, God, the many people you have placed in my life. God, you show your love for me through my friends in ways that I don't always understand and often overlook. They give me advice when I need it, and sometimes when I don't, which shows how much they care for me. They listen to me when I complain, which I do too much, and they celebrate with me, even if they are not doing well themselves. They help me to laugh and love life, and they help me laugh at myself. That alone is a reason to be thankful for all my friends.

 

Yes, God, I am truly thankful for you allowing me to be a priest, to work, serve, and minister to people you have placed in my life. Help me to remember that all work done freely and with a loving heart is worthy in your sight. I am grateful, God, for all the things I know many people in this world do not have. And that is indeed a long list, already known to you. So, I'm grateful for food, and clean water that is always available, and clothes. I am grateful for heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. I am grateful that I can go to the doctor and get a check-up and even get shots to help me avoid illness. That is much more than most people have. Help me to be grateful and help me remember that I can help others who have less, by being generous. That is another way of thanking you.

 

I thank you, God, for all you have created. For the colors of red, orange, and gold leaves against an autumn sky. For the smell of the grass and trees after a thunderstorm on a hot summer afternoon. For the way the frost makes crazy patterns on my windows in the winter. For the amazing smell of yellow daffodils in the springtime. I am also really grateful for the beach, perhaps one of your best creations, and for the mountains, and sunsets, and hamburgers, too. Most of all, God, I am grateful for your presence in my life. I know that you are everywhere, and if I can remember to pay attention, I can meet you in every moment of the day. Now, I am not always as thankful as I should be, but today I am. Today I will try to be grateful all day. For you, God, are generous all day to me, just like you are every day. Thank you, God, for everything.

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