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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Musings

Things sometimes don't happen by chance.  Watching the History Channel's program on the history of Thanksgiving got me thinking.  While HC gave its own reasons for why Thanksgiving falls on a Thursday (it seems that the woman requesting this special holiday equated it with something having to do with her minister), I suspect that perhaps, there might be something deeper.

The word "thanksgiving" actually has its roots in the Church's liturgy.  While we use the word "Eucharist" to signify both the Blessed Sacrament and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the term also means "thanksgiving."  Inasmuch as we gather for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on Sundays in fulfilment of our weekly obligation, we sometimes forget that the first Eucharist was celebrated by no less than Jesus, Himself, during the Last Supper, which fell on a Thursday.  

One could say that the scene played out today in so many homes is a domestic version of what we celebrate every time we gather for the Eucharist.  Just as a family is gathered around the dinner table, the Church gathers her family around the Table of the Altar.  In Isaiah, we hear the account of the people being gathered by God on His holy mountain:

And the Lord of hosts shall make unto all people in this mountain, a feast of fat things, a feast of wine, of fat things full of marrow, of wine purified from the lees. (Isaiah 25:6)
It seems to me that our secular Thanksgiving feast is a foretaste of what we will one day experience on God's holy mountain.  Our Eucharist is the foretaste of the Wedding Feast of the Lamb foretold in the Book of Revelation.

Just some food for thought on this Thanksgiving Day!

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