I do not often get the opportunity to watch much television. However, there are some times that I sit for an hour or so and just put on the set. Since I have no favorite shows or programs, I usually just “surf” through the channels hoping to find something of interest.
During this past month, I surfed through a few shows that portrayed families or friends gathered around a table for a Thanksgiving Day meal.
Often, the meal began with most folks sharing that they were thankful for certain things in their lives, certainly a good thing to reflect upon and share. But not once in my recent experience did I witness anyone indicating to whom they were thankful; there was just a generic expression of thankfulness.
There was no indication of prayer, no mention of God, just a simple statement of being thankful.
I am finding this practice of excluding God in so many aspects of our society very prevalent today; perhaps this is an attempt to be politically correct.
So many of the serious issues we deal with in our lives today are presented from a purely humanistic perspective and while good practices are encouraged, there is seldom a reference to God or to the challenges God gives to us; there is rarely mention of our responsibility to contribute to building up the Kingdom of God here on earth.
It is no surprise, therefore, that there would be no reference to offering thanks to God for all His blessings because little attention is paid to serving God in all of society’s good works.
Do we not see this in our reluctance to include God in Christmas greetings (“happy holidays” versus “merry Christmas”) or for that matter in many other holidays that should at least have some religious significance (Easter, a perfect example with the Easter bunny appearing to have more importance than Jesus).
For the most part, many in our society have stopped being thankful to God for our nation (Independence Day) or for those who have given their live or service to our country (Memorial Day and Veterans Day). These days have become for many simply reasons to have parties and to engage in secular celebrations with little reflection of the true meaning of these days.
Don’t let this Thanksgiving holiday pass without focusing on the One who has given us all so much for which we should be thankful. Let us make this day a time of praise for the One who continually showers us with so many blessings.
When we give thanks, let us not forget to specifically thank God for all His goodness. If possible, begin the day with Mass, begin your meal with prayer and as you share the stories of your blessings, acknowledge the true source of all the goodness you have received.
A blessed Thanksgiving Day to all.
Most Rev. Robert E. Guglielmone
Bishop of Charleston