Father Chuck Files: Giving Thanks

November is a month of thanksgiving. Why was the fourth Thursday of November selected as the time to Thank God? The day was intentionally chosen precisely because of its arbitrariness to remind us to say thanks on a daily basis for all of Gods blessings.

Every Sunday, every day of the week are good times for offering thanks to God. And especially at our Sunday Eucharist when we celebrate “The Great Thanksgiving”, as we celebrate a Great Feast.

Every Sunday is Thanksgiving Sunday. A time to say thanks for all the bounties that God has heaped upon our lives. And after a Sunday worship and on Thanksgiving Day what do you expect?

Sunday dinner or Thanksgiving Dinner for many are really a big deal. Growing up in my house on a Sunday and special holidays, our family would go to church, then at home with relatives with a house of expectant stomachs, the meal whether it be pot roast or turkey and all the trimmings. You could show up at the meal and there was a plate and a choir ready for you to join in the bounty of Gods good ness.

Even back then, I now see that my family was keeping the tradition of the great Jewish Thanksgiving feast of the year: The Passover Sunday Seder. An Empty chair at the table with the door left ajar,
symbolically welcoming Elijah to join to join the feast.

Many of us will be gathering on Thanksgiving Day for a feast and yet for many Thanksgiving is the first disappointment of the holiday season. We have a great divide today with those who have and those who don’t. Those who don’t have know that there will not be leftovers to nibble on.

There are plenty of souls out there looking for an empty chair. As the church and as a caring faith community, what will it take for us to make room for one more? Where can we open our hearts and get involved to share God’s love and extend our hospitality?

Are your empty chairs ready? What can you do? Bake a pie, make a visit, make a contribution, invite someone to share a meal.

Most of all begin by thanking God.

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