Homily — Thanksgiving MMVII November 22, 2007

Homily — Thanksgiving MMVII            November 22, 2007

The Gospel today reminds us that Thanksgiving has two parts to it:  being Thankful, and giving Thanks.

All ten of those lepers could very well have been thankful for being healed, but only one of the ten actually gave thanks to Jesus.

And so today, we want to also do both things: we want to be thankful for the blessings bestowed on us, to take time to reflect on all we have to be thankful for

And then we want to give thanks in concrete ways to those who have blessed us.

In reflecting on what I personally have to be thankful for this past year, I’m actually having a harder time finding things I’m not thankful for.  There’s so many things I am really thankful for these days!

I’m thankful to God for my Catholic faith, for my vocation as a priest, and for the many ways I’ve seen Him work through me as a priest.

I’m very grateful for our Pope, Pope Benedict.  He is a scholar and a gentleman, a true Shepherd and a faithful Christian, and all those things I thank him for.  When he comes to New York City next April I hope I can tell him that in person!

I’m also very grateful for our Bishop, Bishop Tobin.  I’m grateful for the way he’s accessible to the people of Rhode Island, and for the gentle but firm way he publicly proclaims and defends our Catholic faith.

Of course, I’m also thankful that the Bishop made me the Pastor here!  The other day someone asked me if it’s sunk in yet that I’m now a Pastor, and I said I’m still can’t get over that I’m a priest!

And again, so far it’s very hard for me to find something about being Pastor of St. Joseph’s that I’m not thankful for.

I’m thankful for the legacy Fr. Blain left me, and for Fr. Blain himself.   I’m thankful for my part time live in Associate Fr. Marcin, who certainly is a big help for me and is a joy to live and work with.

I’m thankful for all of you St. Joseph parishioners — for the affirmation and prayers and support you give me every week.

I’m thankful for the great staff of employee I have, and the various groups in the parish that make everything run so smoothly.

I’m thankful for my brother priests in our city, for our Catholic Schools especially Good Shepherd School.

Lastly I’m thankful for my parents and the rest of my immediate family, for our present good health and well being.

I kind of wish I could put some of these blessings in a savings account.

But God is good, and even in the Crosses, even in those years when there’s a lot of struggles, He teaches us to be thankful regardless, to be thankful for the Cross which makes us more Christ like.

And so, my prayer for all of us this Thanksgiving is that we will always be like that Leper in the Gospel, realizing the many blessings God has poured out on us, being truly thankful for those blessings, and then finally giving thanks for those blessings in a concrete way, to God, and to all those who have blessed us.

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