Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm sitting at a desk at our friary in Boston on Thanksgiving morning and thinking of the many people and things that I am thankful for on this day and hopefully we are all doing that. Thinking, however, beyond the obvious things to be thankful for I think back to a meeting a few years ago with a brother friar from Africa who was visiting the US. I asked him what his impressions were of our country, and they were positive. When I asked him what most stood out to him about life in our country he told me that all the buildings of New York, the technology that was available to us were not unexpected discoveries, but he couldn't get over the fact that we used the same water for bathing as we did for drinking. In his country drinking water was a precious commodity. A friar visiting from Bolivia where i served as a missionary told me once that he couldn't get over mailboxes on the street and that we Americans trusted enough to drop our mail and them with the assurance that the mail would reach its destination without being stolen.

These two little encounters, I believe, challenge us on this day to ask if we are thankful for the things we take for granted in our country. They challenge us to look beyond the sense of entitlement which affects all of us and to see all of life as a gift, and so to be thankful for everything.

The Mass that we Catholics place at the heart of our life of worship is called Eucharist, which is Greek for "thanksgiving". As I celebrate Eucharist later this morning I will thank God for everything that is gift in my life. I pray that all of us in our own way do the same.

1 comment:

  1. Happy Thanksgiving to you John. Glad to see you are in Boston for the holiday. Expect to be going in for Heart surgery sometime soon, so keep me in your prayers

    Bob Dougherty