THANKSGIVING DAY

Sirach 50:22-24


And now bless the God of all, who everywhere works great wonders, who fosters our growth from birth, and deals with us according to his mercy. May he give us gladness of heart, and may there be peace in our days in Israel, as in the days of old. May he entrust to us his mercy, and may he deliver us in our days!



Psalm 145:2-11


Every day I will bless you, and praise your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; his greatness is unsearchable.

One generation shall laud your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. The might of your awesome deeds shall be proclaimed, and I will declare your greatness. They shall celebrate the fame of your abundant goodness, and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.

The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made.

All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your faithful shall bless you. They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom, and tell of your power,



1 Corinthians 1:3-9


Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind— just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you— so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.


Luke 17:11-19


On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.”


(NRSVCE)


Meditation


On Thanksgiving, we always read about Jesus’ great miracle of cleansing the ten lepers. Of the ten, only one goes back to thank the Lord for his healing. We may be puzzled, wondering how so many could take such a great miracle for granted. After all, being healed of leprosy meant an escape from death. Being healed from leprosy meant returning to society when they had been ostracized. For getting their life back, we may marvel at how anyone could forget to come back and say, “thank you.” Yet, how often do we give thanks for our own lives?


For such a great miracle, it may seem outrageous to not say thanks. We may think that we do not encounter such miracles these days. We may think that if we were in such a place, we would never forget to give thanks. However, particularly on Thanksgiving Day, we must remember that our very lives are a miracle. If we would be grateful to have our lives back from the brink of death, then we should be grateful for the every day. Whether we are having good days or bad, whether we are sick or well, every day, every breath is a miracle of God. Our practice of giving thanks is not about how we may be feeling, but a practice in remembering how good God is.


It is easy to be focused on ourselves. It is easy to wrap up our feelings in gratitude with our general feelings in life. However, no matter how we feel, God is always good. No matter what we may be going through, God is with us in it, giving us life and strength. It is because of him that we must always remember to give thanks. On this special holiday, we should recount all the ways we are blessed, be they small miracles or large ones. Each one is a gift from God. For this, may we always remember to return and give thanks for the Lord.

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