Giving Thanks

30 Nov 2019 by SHRCChurch, Comments Off on Giving Thanks

The following homily was delivered by Rev. John J. Yanas, Pastor of Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church located at 310 Spring Avenue, Troy NY on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 2019:

Thank You Homily: In 1994, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, recently declared a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, was the featured speaker at the annual National Prayer breakfast in our Nation’s capital. In her prepared remarks she told the following story:

“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 she told the sisters, ‘You take care of the other three. I will take care of the one who looks the worst.’ I cleansed 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.

What would I say if I were in her place? I would have drawn attention to myself: ‘I am hungry, I am dying, and I am in pain’ she gave me grateful loving… dying with a smile on her face. Even those with nothing can give thanks.”

Her remarks were received warmly by the assembled guests. Indeed, they gave her a standing ovation! Undoubtedly, they were all grateful for her extraordinary Christian witness.

In an affluent, self-indulgent culture words of thanks are seldom heard. Acknowledging the Lord as the source of all blessings is ignored, if not denied. Why must one say “thank you” if one is entitled to whatever a citizen desires? Frequently it is the most disadvantaged and needy among us that are often the most grateful!

One of the spiritual masters of the Christian Church, Meister Eckhart, gave some sensible advice to the Christian faithful: “If the only prayer you say in your life was thank you that would suffice.”

Early in life, most of us learn an important lesson from our parents. Parents begin to civilize their children when they receive a gift. “What do you say”? And they expect from them the correct response: “thank you.”

Surely, it is appropriate for us to gather this morning for the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharist. The word Eucharist means “to render thanks”.

In his letter to the nascent Christians of Thessalonica, St. Paul implores them to offer praise and thanksgiving to God. “For in all things give thanks to God, because this is what he expects of you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thes. 5:18) Today, brothers and sisters you have heeded the words of the Apostle.

May our Lord bless your day.


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