Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

 It’s very quiet here tonight (the Wednesday before Thanksgiving).  On one level this a little depressing because usually our campus is busy with some type of activity.  As a priest who was once assigned here once said, every evening he would look out his window, and there were always cars in the parking lot.  Tonight there are no cars on the lot though--- with the exception of the two parish trucks, a van waiting to take donated food to Mt. Carmel Guild, and one other car (I don’t know who the car belongs to).  But on another level this is perfectly fine, because it means that people are spending time with their families.  As the “domestic Church,” the family is the best place for children to learn the Faith.  In the home, family members learn to practice humility, forgiveness, charity, and selflessness: parents with their children, children with their parents, brothers with their sisters and vice versa, etc.  In the home and in family life, people learn about God. 

The other evening I heard a radio commentator refer to Thanksgiving as a “family institution.”  This opened my mind to a whole new insight about Thanksgiving.  We have many institutions in our society: churches, government, schools, businesses, and social clubs and organizations.  Thanksgiving is a special, privileged day though for the all-important institution of the family; this is why this holiday is so meaningful for us and enjoyable!  In many ways and with few exceptions, the other institutions of society defer to the family on this day and “get out of the way.”  One notable exception is the “Church;”  we will have a Mass tomorrow morning at 9:00 am which many people will attend for example, and the prayers of the Church are continually offered for its people every day, for example in the Liturgy of the Hours.

But again, on Thanksgiving the family is “front and center.”  I hope you, your family and all your loved ones have a blessed Thanksgiving!

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