Without a doubt, my friends, we have no shortage of trials and tribulations these days, from the covid pandemic to the ongoing political situation to the unrest in our country to the problems we have right here in our community and in our families. These are tough times!
And yet, if we take some time to reflect, we have so much to be thankful for. We are so blessed in so many ways, but we tend to lose sight of these blessings since we often focus on the negative aspects of our lives and on what we don't have, instead of marveling at what we've already been given.
That is one major reason why we have Thanksgiving Day. So what might we give thanks for? First off, for the Holy Trinity- Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For the infinite love they have for every one of us. For the life they gave us (loved us into being) and still give us each day. For their generosity in also creating this vast world of ours, with all of its beauty and wonder!
We are also thankful for God's boundless mercy, through which He created a way out for us when we abused our human dignity and the world's goods (sin). Indeed, "the Word became flesh and dwelled among us (John 1:14)." But He did much more than just dwell amongst humans. He went all the way to the Cross and gave Himself over entirely to redeem all of humanity, to make Heaven a possibility for us again. After He rose from the dead, He gave us the Sacraments, through which He continues to give Himself over entirely for each of us and now lives within us, if we just allow Him to. And of these Sacraments, we are so blessed to have the Eucharistic celebration, the Mass, which is the source and summit of our faith, and the masterpiece of God's love for us!
He also created all of the saints to inspire us and help us along on this often difficult journey of life. Just a few examples of saints who are very close to us: Mary, St. Joseph, St. Therese of Lisieux (the Little Flower) and St. Kateri Tekakwitha. But there is an enormous multitude of other saints out there, just waiting to give us a helping hand. We just need to discover and befriend them. Moreover, through the saints, God has also given us so many devotions to draw us closer to Him, such as the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
Of course, the Trinity has given us our families and friends, and every good thing we have. How wonderful it is to be a free citizen of the USA. Even with all of the struggles in our country today, we are far better off than the vast majority of people around the world. And more particularly, God has brought us all together at this very moment in this very place to enjoy this Reservation, to enjoy the Blackfeet culture, to enjoy our faith together and to enjoy each other (or rather to enjoy Him present in each other). And He has given us this very day to enjoy our families and the great bounty of His goodness!
With all that has been said thus far, we're just scratching the surface in terms of the number of blessings received from God! I encourage you to spend some time today, and every day, thanking God for all He has done for you. He has done much more than you probably realize, and the more you begin to realize what He truly has done, the more you will thank Him and the more you will be filled with His peace and joy. And this is how we were meant to live. Not agonizing over what we wish we had, but delighting in the vastness of what we already do have.
So let us never lose sight of our blessings and let us never cease to give thanks to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit! God bless you all, and Happy Thanksgiving!