Luke 21: 20-28 The Day Will Come!
The readings may not appear “worthy” enough for Thanksgiving. But I know I must thank the Lord for everything: the good, the bad and the ugly. I would not be kneeling in front of the Blessed Sacrament this morning if it were not for the infinite love, mercy and compassion of God. In my childhood, I never once thought of becoming a priest, never even gave it a consideration. And even though I had a close relative who was a priest, I was never inspired to follow in his footsteps. The moment had not arrived. The time had not come and the trials had not appeared as of yet. Life was good. I was growing up with my three best friends: me, myself and I. I was popular, outgoing and full of energy. The light was shining on me and I knew I was different – I was better than others. I had too much to live for and there wasn’t a day that I didn’t smile.
But as we all know God’s providence, complicated by sin, can take us down many different paths. Some freely chosen, many others not. As I grew I began to not like who my best friends were. So the rebellion began and when push came to shove, I preferred to fight for what was wrong and to fall into what felt good. The Lord can really push us around - in certain directions - and I have ended up falling in unexpected places.
Through it all, I thank the Lord! Yes, I thank the Lord for all his plans, the people in my life and the places I have been. Yes, I thank the Lord for the good, the bad and the ugly. I would not be meditating on his Holy Word if it were not for the amazing graces the Lord poured upon this finite, little creature of his. He is more than the Master! He is my Savior, my Love and my best friend. I thank the Lord today for allowing me to call him Father and friend. I thank the Lord for his Son.
Why did the Lord have to die? Why do I have to die to myself? Why in the world was the Lord’s death necessary for my salvation? Why in the world is my death necessary for the salvation of souls? Of course we know that it is the Father’s Will. There is no doubt about that. But meditating in the Chapel, I ask the question over and over again. Why? Why so much sacrifice? In my heart I hear the answer, “Because love is measured by sacrifice.” The more you sacrifice, the more you love. The less you sacrifice, the less you love. Sacrifice saves because love saves.
This Thanksgiving we all have a lot to be grateful for: the Lord who guides, the people who inspire, and the events that change our path. And yet, today, we must even thank the people, plans and places that most of us would never care to acknowledge in company and around the dinner table. Yes, all that is good is a blessing. But I would also say that the Lord is truly The Lord because has transformed my sins into his grace and all by the blood of his cross. The dark night of Holy Friday has become the Good Friday that we can now all appreciate and adore. The day will come when I can see it all and embrace it too. In the meantime, let us give thanks in faith, hope and love.
Today, I will “praise your name for ever, LORD.” (Ps 145:1) Your deeds are marvelous. Your signs, tremendous! Your love is everlasting! Your peace is mine to keep. You lift me up by the dreaded deed, the amazing sight, of your everlasting sign of your son’s love for me. For this reason I shall sleep in peace tonight and forever more. THANK YOU LORD! Thank you for the Last Meal, the Thanksgiving meal, the Eucharistic feast.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!