November 26, 2017—A View from the Rectory Window

As I prepare this View in anticipation of Thanksgiving, I find myself reflecting upon these past six years. In this reflection, I find myself looking back and I note within myself a mixture of emotions; I am profoundly grateful to have walked this journey of faith with you, but can it really be six years already?! How often, and how unfortunately, it is in looking back that blessings are discovered. And for this reason, how often, and how unfortunately, since it is only in looking back that blessings are often discovered, they may also be as often missed.

For example, isn’t it true that at the heart of our national Thanksgiving celebration is the idea of giving thanks for the past goodness we have received? And yet, I ask you to consider how our faith tradition challenges us to see that ‘Thanksgiving’ is the call to be attentive to the present moment and giving thanks to God for who we are and what we have when things are, or are not, going well in our lives. Isn’t the very heart of our identity as a community of faith the ‘Eucharist’ which is best translated – ‘Thanksgiving’.

Our beautiful faith tradition invites us to experience one of the most important qualities of ‘Thanksgiving’ which is the ability to say “thank you” to others and to take no one and nothing for granted. Consistently, in His preaching the Lord invites us to know that those who possess the virtue of gratitude are truly rich. They not only know they have been blessed, but they continuously remember that all good things come from God which is the source of their constant blessing.

In reflecting upon these past six years with you I recognize I am truly rich. In my time with you I hope we have also recognized how people bound together by gratitude are always discovering and awakening abundant sources of strength. The more thankful a person is, the richer he or she is within. Thankful people store up in their grateful memory all the good experiences of the past, just as the French proverb states: “Gratitude is the heart’s memory.”

I take this occasion to speak of my gratitude to you knowing that my gratitude is your blessing to me, for I know that Thankfulness is a way to experience the world, a way to perceive, a way to be surprised. Thankfulness is having open eyes and a short distance between the eyes and the heart.

May this Thanksgiving open our eyes and hearts to all the blessings that are ours,

Fr. Pete