A song that I remember about Thanksgiving went something like “over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house I go….” This song for Thanksgiving was undoubtedly written for this unique celebration in a different part of our country. As we think of the origin of this uniquely American holiday, we can also remember that long before the first Thanksgiving in another part of our country, Mass – the greatest act of Thanksgiving, the Eucharist – was already being celebrated in the West and Southwest here in this part of our country. There are a number of different Scripture reflections for this day, and I think specifically of St. Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians (2 Cor 4:15), where he says that “in abundance may bring greater glory to God because they who give thanks are many.”
Here in the Diocese of Orange, the many who give thanks are all of you, in your commitment to living the Faith, proclaiming the Gospel by your lives, living each day in Mission and keeping your eyes fixed on the Lord who calls us each day to Himself. It may not be “over the river and through the woods,” but however we travel, wherever we may go to be with family and friends, a very blessed and holy celebration of this great day. Thanksgiving Day, as dedicated to God, is also a day for all of us to pause and reflect on the year that has been and give thanks to God and bless Him for His presence in all moments of this year; It is also a day to pause, reflect and rest a bit before all of the many busy days of December which soon beckon.
God bless you and Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Soon I will celebrate four years here with all of you, and this Thanksgiving I am grateful to God for that especially.
+Kevin W. Vann