We are once again in the season in which the calendar gives us the space to be grateful for all that God has given us this year.
For those of us who participate in the Eucharist or the Mass, each Eucharistic celebration is an act of thanksgiving. In fact, the word ‘Eucharist’ has its origin from the Greek word eucharistein, meaning “thanksgiving.” According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in each Eucharistic celebration we thank God for the creation, redemption and sanctification (CCC # 1328). Therefore, one of the characteristics that defines us as disciples of Jesus is that we are grateful.
The celebration of thanksgiving that we are going to have this week in our homes, however, does not have its origin in the Eucharist. But it does have to do with gratitude to God on behalf of the pilgrims who founded this country, who were Protestants. This is why this celebration is a very American celebration. Those of us who live in this country have adopted it not only because it is part of the culture of this country but because deep down, we all know that being grateful and expressing our gratitude is one of the most beautiful characteristics of a human being, regardless of what religion we practice. When a person is grateful, that person recognizes that what he/she has, is given by Someone else (God), and at the same time the person recognizes that he/she needs others.
For those of us who believe in God, these days are a great opportunity to thank Him and thank others.
That is why I do not want to pass the opportunity to express my immense gratitude to God for all that He has given me. I also want to thank each and every one of you for all that you have given me and what you have taught me during this time. This year has presented me with several challenges both in my priestly ministry and in my personal life. One of the most difficult events that I had to live was the death of my mother. But even in those situations of difficulty, I thank God because I realized that God never abandons me, and that He gives me the strength I need to succeed. He has also taught me that, in this parish community, I have the people who have given me the necessary support.
For these, and for many other reasons, especially for the joy I experience as a priest in this parish, I thank you with all my heart.
Happy Thanksgiving for you and your loved ones!
Fr. Manuel Rosiles, MSpS