Dear Believers in Jesus, the Master,
Today’s gospel, Matthew 25:14-30, invites us to be caretakers of faith and of the world. We hold within our hearts the love of God that is entrusted to us. We are responsible to be grateful and good caretakers of our earth, our resources, our relationships and the dignity of each and every human being. We seek the words of the master, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
The word, “Eucharist,” means “Thanksgiving.” Our gratitude and thankfulness becomes a rich and rewarding prayer each week at Mass. As we reflect on the gift of how God entrusts life to us, we enter into the mystery of becoming a grateful people.
This week we celebrate Thanksgiving as a nation. This is not just a holiday for us as Christians; this is a way of life. To act with gratitude and gratefulness is an essential action of each and every follower of Jesus.
This has been an overwhelming year for many people in our country with multiple hurricanes, mass shootings, numerous floods, out of control fires, children shooting children and civil unrest on many levels. Yet, in the midst of such chaos, we are challenged to be open to God’s love and care and to find within our hearts a moment of gratitude and thanksgiving. Our prayer of gratitude must begin within our own lives.
Thanksgiving is not just sharing a turkey sandwich but an act of consciousness toward God and one another and our selves. Thanksgiving helps us realize that we do not live on our own; we do not act single heartedly. We are not self-reliant. Our lives are interdependent on the gifts, talents and actions of all people. To become a people of gratitude means that we realize that the collective wisdom of our nation must include the care for all people including the poor, the immigrant, women, people of various ethnic backgrounds and religions, and people who are much different from our selves.
Thanksgiving for us as a nation means that we celebrate diversity and all people in the love of God. I want to thank all of you who worship in our three churches, who behold the mystery of God in your own lives. This year, I am especially grateful for all the people who are making the renovations at Sacred Heart possible. Thank you for your financial resources, your energy and interests and your concerns for our future.
I am also grateful for the ways folks in our three communities offer their resources to serve people in need, for all the second collections, the preparing of food for our Lord’s Dinner and the stocking of our Food Pantry to feed hundreds of people in our area. For all the ways in which you put love into action, I am deeply grateful.
Thank you all for your faith and living that faith in real life.