Wednesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
November 27, 2019
Today, in Mercy, in our reading from Daniel, King Belshazzar sees “the handwriting on the wall”. We all know how that feels! It’s a feeling that tells us to pay attention to our lives.
As Thanksgiving comes closer, I hope this reflection will help us all pay attention to what is most precious in our lives, and to give thanks.
Thanksgiving is a most heart-warming time. While culture seems to have eroded Christmas into a holiday of “presents”, Thanksgiving remains a time of “presence” – a day simply to gather family and friends in fellowship and love. It is a day full of remembering, ritual, hope and encouragement. It is a time when we are brought back to our true selves by the people who know us best and share our memories.
No matter how many years pass, on Thanksgiving morning we can remember our mother’s kitchen – the early morning bustle of chopping, peeling and mixing; the aroma of roasting turkey rising steadily through the day. For some, the memory is of the gathering of cousins for a football game, or the community of aunts for the pie-baking marathon. Always, it is a memory of togetherness and comfortable acceptance.
For me, a precious memory rests with the turkey heart. Both Dad and I loved this rare treat. But, alas, the turkey has only one heart! So we created a ritual of “alternative years” where I got the heart one year, Dad the next. Somehow, every year, Dad said he had had it last year – until I grew old enough to recognize his generous ploy. Then, as the years passed, I grew up. I realized it was my turn – and my joy – to always say that I “had the heart last year, Dad.”
Often, for this feast, we emphasize the aspect of “thanks”, because we are so blessed and have so much to be grateful for. But perhaps a more powerful part of the celebration is “giving”. This blessed day is a time to renew ourselves in giving – and forgiving. Our giving may be expressed in many forms:
- I love you
- I thank you
- I am proud of you
- I will help you
- I understand, or perhaps just something like this:
I had the heart last year.
Such words bless us, dear family and friends, beyond the years. May you and your loved ones hear them from one another on this Thanksgiving Day.
Music: Thanksgiving Song – Mary Chapin Carpenter