“Now thank we all our God, with hearts and hands and voices!” These hymnal words remind us that November is packed with opportunities to be a people of gratitude and thanksgiving. In so many ways, we acknowledge God as the Source of our blessings and the Giver of all gifts. Unfortunately, we often take those gifts and blessings for granted.
|Bishop Daniel Felton
Believe in the Good News
The most beautiful way that we have as Catholics to say thank you to God is the celebration of the Holy Eucharist (Mass). The word Eucharist comes from the Greek word eukharistia, which means “thanksgiving.” In other words, every time we celebrate the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, we come together to thank God for the many blessings that have been bestowed on us during the week leading up to the Sunday Eucharist. In fact, during the Mass we pray Eucharistic Prayers to praise and thank God in the most profound way that we know as Catholics. Mass is not about what I am going to get out of it or what I am going to take away from it, but it is singularly focused on God and our prayers of gratitude and thanksgiving.
It is in the Holy Eucharist that we receive and embody the greatest blessing and gift of all, the very real presence of Jesus Christ. Now if that does not make us humbly fall to our knees to offer prayers of gratitude, nothing will. How can someone say that I do not get anything out of going to Mass, when in fact one receives the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ himself? All praise and all thanksgiving, be every moment thine!
We celebrate Thanksgiving Day to profoundly remind us of how blest we are at any moment, regardless of the challenges that we may be facing in that same moment. I can think of no better way to celebrate Thanksgiving Day than going to a Mass to offer your heart and voice of eukharistia to God. Thanksgiving Day and the Holy Eucharist invite us to live life with a deep sense of gratitude – not for a day or a Sunday—but every day of our lives.
Please know how grateful I am for you and for my call to be the Bishop of the Diocese of Duluth, I join you every day in thanking God, with our hands and hearts and voices!
Bishop Daniel Felton is the tenth bishop of Duluth.