Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving Day Greetings

As we gather at our respective tables to feast on whatever serves as traditional holiday fare for our families let us make today truly a day of Thanksgiving. In a world of war and want our ancestors all suffered much to come to these shores. Our mothers and fathers struggled to build hearth and home, and to provide not only the simple necessities for life but also the luxuries of domestic love for themselves and their children.

Whether by stormy sea voyages or on footpaths that in the last century included the very heavens themselves, they all made their way to this distant land seeking the fulfillment of a promise. That promise was and is so simple, yet nowadays too often seems a mere cliché. The promise was freedom -- the opportunity to stand before God and man and to live free. The promise to live in peace, to love one's family, to pray to God and offer thanks.

And so as we dedicate ourselves to feasting, football, the 'traditional' start of holiday shopping, and the many other activities that we find so suitable on this day, let us be thankful. For to be a Christian is to be thankful; thankful for the Divine Mercy that not only creates us but gives us new birth as His children. Let us be thankful for the salvation that washes clean the stain of sin and opens spiritual eyes to see in each other not just neighbors but brothers and sisters. Let us be thankful for our heritage, our nation and its history -- with its many mistakes, conflicts and ultimate triumphs, and our values that have given incarnation to the vision of humanity seeking peace and fellowship through the bonds of liberty.

Let there be a moment of silence at the table as we each reflect on the many things for which we have true cause to be thankful. Then offer up prayers to express that thanks to God our Father. In such manner we will not only express who we are as Americans, we will affirm what we are as God's children.

May His mercy and peace accompany us today and every day to the ages of ages. Amen.

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