Happy Thanksgiving • 1st Sunday of Advent

Dear Epiphany Family,
To put it mildly it has been a crazy year. Yet with the Thanksgiving holiday weekend upon us we can turn our minds and hearts back to the One who has given us everything and still continues to provide for us. God has blessed us in so many ways but it is usually easier for us to focus on our sufferings and struggles (yet for even these we are called to give thanks because we are more closely united to Jesus in His suffering, but we know this is not easy and takes great trust in His love), but still we have so much to be thankful for. When we thank God in prayer for the many ways He has blessed us we grow in a greater awareness of His love and presence in our lives. Our minds and hearts begin to change and our gratitude bears fruit in our daily lives. On Thanksgiving at my home parish (Landeck St. John the Baptist) children come up and pray a “litany” of thanksgiving after Communion. “Thank you God for grandma and grandpa, thank you God for mom and dad, thank you God for pumpkin pie… thank you God for your Son, Jesus”. It is always a beautiful reminder of how blessed we are shared through the eyes of children who know God’s love deeply.

God’s deep, profound, intimate, and infinite love for us is most perfectly expressed this side of heaven in our celebration of the Eucharist. The word “Eucharist” itself comes from Greek and means “thanksgiving”. Even in the midst of the craziness and messiness we find ourselves in, let us offer it and give thanks and praise to God the Father in the Holy Spirit through the gift of the Son, Jesus, in His sacrifice. Let us give God thanks everyday in our prayer, from the little to the big things. His love and mercy endure forever. Happy Thanksgiving!

In Christ,
Father Eric

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