Today is Thanksgiving Day! Many of us are spending the holiday in the warm comfort of our homes surrounded by our family and friends, eating amazing turkey dinners, and thanking the Lord for all that he has given us! Each of us have our own family traditions that make the holiday our own. Every year for as long as I can remember, my mom pulls out the turkey, and before stuffing it, comes up with a little jingle and makes the turkey dance. Thanksgiving would not be the same without that little tradition, but while these traditions mean so much to us, we must remember that 2000 years ago God sent his only son to become man, suffer and die on a cross, and be raised from the dead and there is nothing for which we can be more thankful!
Today’s psalm is a wonderful reminder of this: “Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” What a perfect psalm for a day of feasting! However, we need to take care to not confuse ourselves about this wedding feast. This is not a feast of turkey and stuffing, or of wine and champagne, but rather a call to participate at the Eucharistic table where we have been blessed to partake in the feast of the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In Greek, the word “eucharistia” means “thanksgiving.” We are all called to this Eucharistic table, this thanksgiving table. We are all called to the wedding feast. Christ made that possible through his suffering and death on the cross. Christ’s sacrifice did not just allow us to be here today celebrating with our families and praising his name. Rather heopened the heavens to us, invited us into the wedding feast, and taught us how to participate in that feast with him.
Is it easy to give ourselves so completely to Christ and the wedding feast? Of course not. Especially at this time of the year when we say “Thank you” one day and are out shopping Black Friday deals the next. This is a season that is a constant struggle between material goods and celebrating the life of Jesus Christ, and yet we persist on. We have to; we have a deep desire for Christ in our lives. During this time of Thanksgiving and as we begin the season of Advent let us take a moment each day to be thankful for Christ’s suffering and death and for his presence in our lives. Thanksgiving gives us the perfect opportunity to begin this dialogue with God! Let us prepare our hearts and minds and give thanks to the Lord!
“Never forget that there are only two philosophies to rule your life: the one of the cross, which starts with the fast and ends with the feast. The other of Satan, which starts with the feast and ends with the headache.” ~Archbishop Fulton Sheen
Nicholas Shields is a young professional in Washington, DC.