November is the time of thanksgiving, a special time we set aside to thank God for the gifts in our lives. Allow me to share with you three splendid ways of giving thanks to God.
First: Thanksgiving through wonder
Wonder at simply being alive. Wonder that a child can be shaped of your flesh and spirit. Wonder that you can love another human person as much as you love yourself, or even more. Wonder that your ears can recapture Mozart and Beethoven. Wonder that God can rest within you and transform you into an image of Christ.
Second: thanksgiving through the tough times
I mean, “I thank you Lord for my crosses, burdens, defeats and sufferings.” It may well be the most difficult “thank you” God asks of us, but it is crucial for some of our greatest opportunities for growth, which often come only at the cost of great suffering or trials. There is a pain which accompanies every victory.
Third: Thanksgiving through the sacrament of Eucharist
For the Eucharist means thanksgiving. What Jesus did to ordinary bread at the Last Supper, that Jesus does to you, Jesus took…Jesus blessed… Jesus broke…Jesus gave. In giving you life, Jesus chose you to follow him. In your baptism, Jesus blessed you to be his disciple. In your suffering, Jesus broke you, shaped you as a man or woman for others. And so wherever you are, Jesus gives you, chosen, blessed and broke – to a whole little world for its salvation.
May our Eucharist celebration be always a resounding song of thanksgiving with the outburst of the Psalmist:
It was you who created my inmost self
You knit me together in my mother’s womb
For all this I praise you:
For the wonder of myself
For the wonder of your works