As if it is not pathetic enough that we only have one day out of the entire year set aside for feeling grateful, our society seems intent on trying to forget even this measly twenty-four hours. Thus the scary Halloween props give way to joyful and slightly absurd Christmas decorations with nary a mention of Gratitude-Day. I have met more people holding a religious fervor for Black Friday than I have those who give thanks on Thanksgiving. Therefore, to be completely counter-cultural and completely in the spirit of perpetual gratitude to Our Lord, I write this blog post the day after Thanksgiving.
There are a million and three things that I can thank God for this year. I can thank him for my health, my family, my friends, my house, my truck, my career, and my education. And finding that there is an awful lot of “my”s in there, I can express a deeper, less mundane thankfulness for my life, for His forgiveness, and for my Faith. However, I think the greatest thing I can thank God for, as a Catholic—other than being Catholic in the first place, of course—is the Eucharist. Think about it.
God not only created us, He loved us so much He died for us. And not only did He die for us, but He allows us to be present, right here, right now, at that greatest moment in history. The Mass is an Immortal Moment. During it, God picks us all up, transcends time, and places us at the foot of Calvary. Jesus’ redeeming death was not some event that happened a long time ago and which is now gone. We witness it every Sunday. WE ARE THERE. And we actively participate in it. Just as the Passover sacrifice was not complete until the Paschal lamb was consumed, so is consuming the New Paschal Lamb an integral part of Jesus’ Sacrifice. This, friends, is the Eucharist. It would be the greatest blasphemy of all time if God Himself had not sanctioned and commanded it. (No wonder the Protestants are up in arms, eh?) Catholics eat God. There you have it, plain and simple. We consume Jesus. Don’t cringe! If a mother pelican feeds her babies her own flesh to keep them from starving, how much greater will God’s love be for us? Is it so strange, in the light of Love and History, for the Eucharist to be…well, the Eucharist? Not at all.
This Thanksgiving, I thank God for the Eucharist. Thank You, Jesus, for allowing us to actively participate in Your Testament of Love for us. Thank You for being with us—Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity—in every Tabernacle throughout the world. Thank You for loving us more than pelicans do their chicks. It must be a long and lonely wait there in the cold, with few souls willing to visit You, our Divine Prisoner. Thank you for your Immortal Sacrifice, and please help me to fully understand and appreciate it. Amen.
(…Are you grateful? Do you ever visit the Perpetual Adoration chapel, or visit Jesus outside of Mass? Please join me spiritually, my brothers and sisters in Christ, before Jesus in the Tabernacle today. And if you can’t, pray for me on Sunday. I’ll be praying for you!)