This Thursday as a nation, we pause from all our varied activities to celebrate a day of Thanksgiving. This is a special day that in past years was filled with many family traditions. Namely, family gatherings that centered around the big Thanksgiving Dinner, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, football games, and for some, preparation for the start of the Christmas shopping season with “Black Friday.” Here in New Orleans, Thanksgiving weekend has also been filled with the excitement of the traditional Bayou Classic. The festivities would begin on Friday with the Greek Shows and of course the “Battle of the Bands,” with the winner having “bragging rights” for the year. The big event would be on Saturday with the big game between Grambling State University and Southern University.
Like so many traditional events that many of us have looked forward to, this year many have been cancelled or altered because of our current Covid-19 pandemic. Some might raise the question, “What do I have to be thankful for, especially this year?”
Like many I am counting the days to the end of 2020, because it has been a year that I want to forget. Yet, despite the pandemic, the crises of social justice affecting our community, the endless run of hurricanes this year and a host of other issues affecting us, I am still grateful.
I am grateful to God for the power of His grace and presence in my life. In the words of a spiritual song that many of us are familiar with, “If it had not been for the Lord on my side where would I be, where would I be?” During all the crises that we have endured this year, it has been the power of God’s grace actively at work in our life that provided us with the direction and strength to just keep moving forward. It has been the power of God’s presence in our life, in those darkest moments when all hope seemed lost, that His light has shown brightly filling us with courage and the direction that we needed to travel. It has been that constant presence of God’s love at work in our life, that still provides us with hope. We are never alone; God is always present and in control.
As we gather to celebrate Thanksgiving Day, please take a moment to say, “Thank you Lord.” If God were not actively present in our life, where would we be right now? Always remember, everyday that we can get up in the morning, is a day to say, “Thank you Lord.” Every day that we can enjoy our freedom and the presence of our family and friends in our life, is a day to say, “Thank you Lord.” Every time that God responded to our prayers for help, especially during this hurricane season, is a day to say, “Thank you Lord.”
Thanksgiving Day is still a special time for family and friends. Thanksgiving Day is still a special day for that Thanksgiving meal. Most of all, Thanksgiving Day is still that special day to look to God and simply say “Thank you Lord.”Have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving.
Fr. Peter Weiss, S.S.J.
PRAYER FOR FAMILIES
We bless your name, O Lord,
For sending your own incarnate Son,
To become part of a family,
So that, as he lived its life,
He would experience its worries and its joys.
We ask you Lord,
To protect and watch over this family,
So that in the strength of your grace
It members may enjoy prosperity,
Possess the priceless gift of your peace,
And, as the Church alive in the home,
Bear witness in this world to your glory.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.