November 19, 2023
Dear Parish Family,
Thursday is Thanksgiving Day. The very important act of giving thanks is at the center of who we are as Catholic Christians. The Eucharist—the source and summit of our lives—comes from a Greek word that means “thanksgiving”. Thursday at 8:30 a.m. there will be a very special Mass to offer thanks and praise to God for all His blessings.
As is the custom here at Good Shepherd, our Council of Catholic Women have provided apples to be blessed at Mass on Thanksgiving for you to take home for your Thanksgiving tables. The idea is that you share the apple at the table, and as each one takes a piece, they share what they are thankful for this Thanksgiving.
We have many wonderful prayers and prayer forms that are part of our Catholic heritage. The Mass and the Sacred Liturgy are at the top of the list. We have Eucharistic Adoration, the Rosary, Stations of the Cross, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and Novenas. We have the Bible, spiritual reading, and devotions. We have meditation and contemplation. And we have litanies. Litanies are lists of different names or things to which we respond with a repeated plea or acclamation. We have the Litany of the Saints, the Litany of the Sacred Heart, the Litany of Loretto, and on and on.
As we look to Thanksgiving next week, I invite all of us to make our own personal Litany of Thanksgiving. Start by making a list of all the people and things you are thankful for … and be specific. Then after each one of those people or things, say “Thank you, Lord.” When we start counting our blessings, we realize that there are so many. Let’s give thanks for them.
Lord, on this special day of thankfulness,
we thank you not only for the delicious food,
lovingly prepared and presented, but also for special gifts
you’ve given to this family —
loved ones we cherish dearly, a comfortable place to live,
the beauty that surrounds us, material pleasures,
health, spiritual wealth, and so much more.
How can we show our gratitude for
the countless blessings you’ve provided?
We thank you for giving us clear direction, through your holy word
on how to show our appreciation, by obeying Your commands
and by loving and serving our neighbors.
Thank you, Lord.
Grace and peace,
Father Neil Sullivan