Thursday of the Thirty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Book of Revelation 18:1-2, 21-23, 19:1-3, 9a; Psalm 100:1b-2, 3, 4, 5; Luke 21:20-28
Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta told this story in an address to the National Prayer Breakfast in 1994:
"One evening, several of our Sisters went out, and we picked up four people from the street. One of them was in a most terrible condition. So I told the sisters, 'You take care of the other three, and I will take care of this one who looks the worst.' So I did for the woman everything that my love could do. I cleaned her and put her in bed, and there was such a beautiful smile on her face. She took hold of my hands and said two words in her native language, Bengali, 'Thank you.' Then she died.
Mother Teresa continued: I could not help but examine my conscience and ask, 'What would I say if I were in her place?' My answer was simply that I would have tried to draw a little attention to myself. I would have said, 'I am hungry…I am dying…I am in pain.' But the woman gave me much more; she gave me grateful loving, dying with a grateful smile on her face. It means that even those with nothing can provide us with the gift of thanks."
After I read, and re-read, the beautiful story that Saint Mother Teresa told her audience, I realized that this is what celebrating Thanksgiving Day is all about. Saying "thank you" not just to each other and for our county, but "thank you" to God without whom there would be no blessings.
May I suggest that when you are seated around your Thanksgiving Day table that you ask your family members to close their eyes and pray. Pray for the blessings of each other, pray for our country, pray for all who protect us from harm, and most importantly, pray for all those who are alone, hungry, and neglected that our merciful Father in heaven will keep them safe and help them receive the adequate care they require.
I extend my personal best wishes and blessings to you and your families for health and happiness on this Thanksgiving Day. I'll end with a quote from a Christian Brother who said, "In daily life, we must see that it is not happiness that makes us ungrateful, but gratitude that makes us happy."
Question of the Day: Will you pray that you will never fail to be aware of the countless blessings that enrich your life, especially those you may take for granted?
Prayer: “Sing and make music to the Lord in your hearts, always thanking God the Father for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Eph. 5:19-20.)