Reflections: Thanksgiving Message 2011

“Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.” ~ Mark 3:34-35

What does God really want from us? Why would Jesus deny his own mother and brothers in public and instead elect to keep teaching in the temple? What is Mark really saying to us? Finally what does any of these things have to do with Thanksgiving? Well to be certain Jesus was very much about his father’s work. He was very much about teaching and healing and spreading the word of God. So much so he would be twice found in the temple with his family asking for him to come out and go with them. Once when he was a young boy and then again on this Sabbath day. The miracle he had worked had less to do with the act of healing a man with withered hands and more to do with his message, the meanings found within the symbology of his actions and words. Jesus knew he was surrounded by men with hardened hearts, supposed teachers of the Mosaic Laws. He knew they would be questioning him at every turn, testing, and judging everything he did. In many ways trying their best to trick him and find fault within him. But our Lord and Savior was too clever for them, as his message was about the old versus the new. The Pharisees now have become guardians of the old and outdated and Jesus the fresh and the new, representing the new agreement with mankind. In retrospect Thanksgiving is about this very thing, the old ways of Europe put down and the new ways of living had been found within the cultivation of the pilgrims’ relationship with the Indians.

The first of all new commandments is to love one another. The pilgrims knew this, they taught the Indians this, and on many levels the Indians taught the first pilgrims the meaning of respect and love in their kindness in helping them to survive in a harsh environment, all of which the Indians did not haves to do. Just as Christ Jesus did not have to forsake his place next to God and elect to become a servant and the sacrifice for all mankind.

I think it is very evident to what God wants from us, what he demands from us, and I am very thankful that we have set aside a day in order to celebrate all the things in our life we have to be thankful for. Because when we do this we celebrate God, we celebrate the message, the symbology behind the story of giving to each other freely not expecting anything in return.

So Mark was making the point that even though the law was interpreted as being one way and against common human decency then we need to reach out and find the spirit of the law which is of a higher nature. So in this instance it was believed one does not work on the Sabbath, even if it is to heal the sick, tend to the dying. But in the example Jesus clearly showed the hypocrisy of this and how this directly contradicts his first commandment, of loves one another. Healing the sick on the Sabbath was not work, but an act of kindness and love.

So on this Thanksgiving day I want everyone to look deep down at what you have, the food you are eating, and the warmth that surrounds you, and remember that God is with you, remember that he made all things possible and what you have he granted. Take this day to thank him first, take this moment to ask his blessing on your life and that of your family. Show your mercy through your actions and help those who can not help themselves, love one another as God loves you.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

May God bless you all and keep you safe this holiday season.


Published by

Brother Brian

Brother Brian currently serves within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Catholic School System. He is currently in his twentieth year of teaching.

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