Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving 2020


On the last Thursday of every November Americans celebrate Thanksgiving day.  On this day, the traditional turkey meal is enjoyed by families across the nation.  Americans give thanks for life, their families, health, goods etc. 

The origin of this day is said to come from the Pilgrims who settled at Plymouth rock. The Wampanoag Indians taught these settlers how to farm and hunt.  As a deeply religious people, the Pilgrims then had a meal thanking God for the many blessings in this new land. However, the real first Thanksgiving was done by Catholics.  Many do not know that the first Thanksgiving was done by Catholics over 50 years before the pilgrims.  Native Americans and Spanish settlers had a Feast and Mass in 1565 on September 8th, the feast day of the Birth of Mary.  This took place in St. Augustine, Florida. Thanks were given on this day by the Natives and Spanish.  The reason why the Pilgrim's Thanksgiving takes precedence is because the United States eventually came under control of the British Empire.  Naturally, they will favor Anglo-related events over Spanish ones.  


 



While the day is great, we should always thank God daily for everything, both good and bad.  Everything is a blessing whether direct or hidden.  The Catholic Church always gives thanks in the Eucharist.  The word "Eucharist" means Thanksgiving.  We offer out prayers to God, thanking Him while remembering His Son's sacrifice on the Cross.  Jesus Christ becomes the bread and wine at Mass not symbolically but literally.  The Mass takes place daily throughout the Earth.  There is only one day where Mass is not said and that is on Good Friday.   So before the Pilgrims and way before St. Augustine, Florida; Catholics have been having Thanksgiving, not with comfort food, but with The Bread of Life.   

However, this year 2020 has been unique.  With the alleged pandemic of Covid-19 Coronavirus taking hold of the world, things have changed.  Many people are out of jobs, kids are at home learning, places of worship have been targeted by governments and so on.  It has not been easy.  In the United States, there are lines of people waiting to get food and the basics.  It seems awful, and it is; however, we should always give thanks.  We do not know why this virus came upon us. It is the wrath of God, a warning or a blessing in disguise?  Is this a biological weapon, nature doing some human weeding or climate change altering viruses?  We may never know.  

In any event, we must be thankful more than ever for what we have knowing so many of us lost loved ones, jobs and the things in life we came accustomed to.  We will get through this.  Please limit your Thanksgiving event to a minimum and be smart about it. Use masks, allow for strong ventilation or have the dinner outdoors if weather and circumstances permit.  No one is taking away this holiday.  Catholics and others who use social media to scare others are lying.  Thanksgiving is here to stay.  We are just doing it differently here so that we can continue to do it every year with our loved ones still with us.  

Encouraging large thanksgiving dinners is irresponsible and contrary to the Gospel of Life.  We must be prudent.  While we have faith and trust God and His angels will protect us, we must understand that we all are subject to the laws of the form we are in.  In other words, we are in the form of flesh and blood now which is linked to nature and how nature operates.  Viruses exist and have a purpose. Our bodies will react to them. This is how God created nature.  With Original Sin, nature was disrupted, this is why we eventually get sick and/or die.  We are all subject to this reality.  It does not mean God is evil or does not care. It simply means we have to live out what Adam and Eve sowed and what we continue to sow as we live in sin.  This is why we have to "work and toil" on Earth.  we have to care for ourselves and use science and the things God enlightens us about.  We lost the privilege of the "Garden of Eden" where we had it all and could live forever.  So in light of this, be smart. Keep the dinners to a minimum. Make use of Zoom. Google Meets, Alexa, etc to have virtual dinners.  Do not invite elderly family or friends or those with compromised immune systems.  We want them around for next Thanksgiving in 2021, 2022, 2023 and so on.  Again, Thanksgiving is not canceled and never will be. We will always thank God on this day and every day!  

Let us Thank God for everything, not just on this last Thursday of November, but daily; whether at Holy Mass, work, school or at home.




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