Greetings in the Name of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ,
“When God is thanked, He gives us still further blessings, while we, by receiving His gifts, love Him all the more and through this love attain that divine wisdom whose beginning is the fear of God” (Prov. 1:7).
As we celebrate Thanksgiving Day, let us be more mindful of the things for which we are thankful. I humbly ask that you pray for peace in the world and in particular, for the military personnel serving our country here and abroad; pray for our civil authorities that they may govern in wisdom and truth; pray for those suffering under such adverse conditions; pray for those suffering in the Name of Christ; pray for your families and friends. I would also like to remind you to pray for departed relatives and friends. Give thanks to God for the love and memories you treasure in your heart.
Living in this great nation we recognize that although this holiday commemorates an important historical day, it is a reminder that we not take things for granted. The pilgrims understood this as they, having endured great struggles, gave thanks. We, too often, overlook the day to day blessings we receive from God and in doing this, become neglectful in giving Him due thanks. Is there anything worse than one who is ungrateful? The Church Fathers encourage us to be attentive to the blessings in our life and to give thanks to God for all things.
We sometimes take for granted and overlook the many blessing we enjoy as a Parish. The tremendous support and participation of the stewards of our Parish is truly admirable and has enabled us to succeed in all our endeavors. Together, we comprise the Body of Christ and many parishioners sacrifice their Time, Talents and Treasure to build up our Church. Times become difficult, but through everything, the Love for Christ continues to guide us in all things.
During these times where we are limited in what we can do, we are called to do even more. We bow our heads in prayer and rejoice in all conditions. While now we are limited in what we can do during this day, we are unlimited in how we thank God. While our tables may not be surrounded by all of our loved ones, we are surrounded by the love of Christ. May God give us strength in everything we do.
I rejoice in the Lord for each of you. Please know that I pray for you each and every day and I thank all of you that have been so willing to express your faith in cooperation with me, your parish priest. I thank God for the challenges, in knowing that it is only Christ who is guiding us. I thank God for all things.
As you gather for your Thanksgiving Day celebration, I pray that it be a day of transformation, a day of change, so that each of us may become thankful to God, to His Church, to our family and friends for all we have in our lives.
...I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens... (President Abraham Lincoln).
May this Thanksgiving Day and each day of your lives be filled with the peace that comes from being thankful to God for everything you experience by living your Christian Orthodox Faith.
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