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We Thank You Always
by Mary McEntee McGill
Today and in these next several weeks, as you prepare for and anticipate your Thanksgiving gatherings and celebrations—whether that involves packing for travel or determining the size of the turkey you will serve—think about the many things for which you are thankful.
Thanksgiving is a national holiday. It is not a holy day of obligation in the Catholic Church. However, it is a day when families throughout the United States gather to celebrate the gifts the Lord has given them. Because of this, I thought that giving thanks would be a good focus for our prayer. As we prepare for the season of Advent, the beginning of a new liturgical year, and the celebration of the coming of the Christ Child, let us take time to reflect upon the Lord’s generosity.
 
Today and in these next several weeks, as you prepare for and anticipate your Thanksgiving gatherings and celebrations—whether that involves packing for travel or determining the size of the turkey you will serve—think about the many things for which you are thankful.


Reading: Psalm 118:28-29

Leader: Let us be thankful for our health. Yes, we may have health problems. None of us is perfect. But consider the many things we are able to do, the clarity of our minds, the ability to enjoy life and those around us. We thank God for the health of those we love and for the health of our co-workers, friends, and helpers. Thank you, God, for health and well-being.
All: You are my God. I give thanks to you.

Leader: Let us be thankful for those we love and who love us. We thank God for all the members of our families—the young, the old, the sweet, the difficult. Thank you, God, for the gift of family and friends.
All: Oh my God, I extol you.

Leader: Let us be thankful for our homes. Be it ever so humble… No home is perfect; I’m sure there are a lot of things we all need. But we’ve been blessed with the homes that we have. We pray for those who do not have shelter. Lord, lead us in ways to share with others.
All: Give thanks to the Lord for he is good.

Leader: Let us be thankful for the food we have. Many in the world are hungry. Let us not forget to thank the Lord for all that we have been given. God, we are grateful for the nourishing gift of food from your bounty.
All: His kindness endures forever.

Leader: Let us be thankful for work. Whatever we do, we all “work.” We all do worthwhile and important work. The labor we are called to do is never ideal, but it is gift. The work of our hands keeps our minds sharp and our skills strong. Regardless of what we do, we have been given gifts by the Lord. Lord God, we are thankful for these gifts.
All: You are my God. I give thanks to you.

Leader: Let us be thankful for the opportunity to serve. We thank the Lord for our ministries: being active in religious education; visiting the sick; assisting our neighbors; donating to charity; tutoring students who need special support; serving as hosts at a local soup kitchen. Thank you, Lord, for the joy we realize in serving others.
All: Oh my God, I extol you.    

Leader: Let us be thankful for the gifts God has given us in today’s world. We enjoy beautiful trees and flowers. We listen to birds and enjoy animals, especially our pets. God has given us mountains and rivers, exciting cities, and wonderful small towns. We have interesting histories to learn about and special individuals to teach us. It has problems but it’s a good world. We thank you, God, for this world.
All: Give thanks to the Lord for he is good.

Leader: Let us be thankful for our religious tradition. We are thankful for Pope Benedict XVI and our bishops, priests, deacons, and all those who minister in the Church. Thank you, God, for these people and their very special gifts.
All: His kindness endures forever.

Leader: Let us be thankful for our relationship with the Lord. We didn’t call him. He called us. “It was not you who chose me but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in my name he may give you” (John 15:16). Thank you, God, for your constant presence.
All: We thank you always, Lord. Amen.


Mary is the Pastoral Associate for Religious Education and Liturgical Education for Holy Trinity Parish in Dallas, TX. She is the author of Stories to Invite Faith Sharing (Resource Publications).





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