In our work, when we go shopping, when we request a service, when we talk to our family… every day we express our gratitude to other people; we do it automatically and we forget that gratitude should be a conscious act done with reflection.
Thanksgiving Day is a date in which we recognize the multiple benefits of gratitude in our life. This is a value that we must interiorize and express day by day, because in addition to being our duty as Catholics, it also leads us toward true happiness and it predisposes us to be generous.
The origin of this celebration goes back to November, 1621, when the Massachusetts pilgrims expressed their gratitude to God for the harvest they had that year with a dinner that they shared with the original inhabitants of America, who had taught them how to cultivate the land. This tradition is still alive today and it invites us to get together and express our gratitude for all the blessings we have received during the year.
In order to celebrate Thanksgiving, a good idea is to begin our dinner placing one hand on our chest and being happy to feel our heart beating, knowing that God has granted us, for one more year, the miracle of life.
We will also express our gratitude for our families and our colleagues; for the wonderful people that God has placed on our path and also for those who have challenged us and have made us grow; for the talents and gifts we have received, for those who have gone ahead of us… and above all, for the opportunity to give testimony of the love of Jesus, the Incarnate Word, in each one of our activities.
Thanksgiving Day also gives us an opportunity to recognize ourselves as members of humanity, confirming and making our conviction evident that we are all equal before the eyes of God. In Thanksgiving evening we will share our food with those around us, flowing to them the abundant blessings we have received during the year.
Our life as Catholics should lead us to give glory to God through prayer, gratitude and joy; through our daily actions and also through the Eucharist, which means, above all, a thanksgiving.