Saturday, November 28, 2009

Giving thanks for your thank-giving

Thank you all. Really – thank you. I was most grateful for the response you made last week to the in-pew offertory commitment. Not just the number of you who filled out the cards, and committed for the coming year to make your thanksgiving offering to God (though definitely for that). But just for … your response. You were very receptive and gracious to what is, admittedly, not anybody’s favorite way to spend the homily time.

I am not sure you realize how much of you I actually see when I am up there at the ambo. You think you are watching me; in actuality, I am looking deeply at you. One of the great delights of these weeks of “family business” is that I preach all the Masses. It’s more draining, true, but also encouraging, because I get to see everybody.

I don’t know if you realize how much I enjoy that – seeing who is in his usual seat, and who came to a different Mass than usual. Some bring friends, some slip in late, some squawk and squirm more, or less, than usual; and some even sing and enjoy it. Families (especially those with teenagers) come in an amazing variety of times, seats, and configurations. But I love to see you! Those weekends I am not at the Mass you are at, I miss you. So these were two very good weekends.

So once again, thank you. I am grateful for your engagement with the important aspects of our relationship with God and with one another. It is a privilege to lead you in these moments of renewal of our commitment to worship God with every aspect of our lives, even if no one really looks forward to talking (or thinking) about the fiscal dimension.

I guess I am right on schedule with our secular calendar this week. Here I am all awash in gratitude just in time for Thanksgiving, the one day of the year our nation admits to its Catholic side. That’s right – there is nothing more Catholic than giving thanks to God. It is essential to our identity as Children of God, and essential to our identity as Americans. Let’s enjoy this moment of national unity in the Truth, and pray for our fellow citizens. May they one day all join us in great Thanksgiving, the Holy Eucharist!

So wouldn’t it be great if we were all together on Thanksgiving? Okay, if you are traveling, you’re excused – but otherwise, why not plan on coming to the Mass on Thanksgiving Thursday at 10:00 AM? It’s one of the most relaxed Masses of the year, in that no one is in a hurry to rush off to anything (it’s too early to go to dinner). And everyone, absolutely everyone, is in a great mood. (The football games haven’t been played yet, so there are no losers.) So come. Together let us give thanks, and show our fellow citizens how it is done. Stop and think; this family, this Eucharistic community, is probably something you are grateful for. I sure am. God bless you!

Monsignor Smith

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