Thanksgiving. Today is a day we set aside to take a good look around us and be thankful. We probably should make every day Thanksgiving Day, but still it is good to set this day apart to be more consciously thankful.
For many of us who no longer live close to the land or measure time by when we plant and harvest, Thanksgiving has all but been removed from its agricultural roots. We perhaps retell the stories of early European settlers surviving difficult times. Images of the bountiful harvest certainly convey the beauty and richness of the earth. But more important, a plentiful harvest meant the community could survive the harsh winter ahead. They would have enough to eat and not starve.
Our context may not be the plentiful harvest, but we can certainly say on this day that it has been a long, hard journey through this Covid-19 pandemic. And yet through it all, we are here. We are going to make it, even as we mourn hundreds of thousands of lost lives. Even as we experience how we claw at each other and demonize one another and listen to all sorts of false prophets, we have hope that we will come through this. Maybe we can be more grateful for one another instead of critical.
We have been given so much and have learned so much in these challenging times. How can we not be grateful? Setting aside today as a Day of Thanksgiving is good, even if with fewer family members around the table but no less thankful. Consider praying today’s responsorial, Psalm 100, either with those gathered in your home or quietly by yourself. God is good, and faithful to all generations.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
his courts with praise;
Give thanks to him; bless his name.
For he is good:
the LORD, whose kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.
Robert Hotz is a consultant with American City Bureau, Inc. and was the Director of The Passion of Christ: The Love That Compels Campaign for Holy Cross Province.