Thankful in Christ
I am always reminded at this time of the year of the specialness of the Eucharist in a different way. The Eucharist literally means “thanksgiving.” Each time we consume the Eucharist, we are participating in the act of thanksgiving to God through His True Body and True Blood. When we return to the pews after receiving the Eucharist, we are called upon to give thanks.
Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. My family is big and loud. Coming together was the one holiday where we weren’t wrapped up in presents or Easter treats. It was just us and pie, lots and lots of pie. Prayer was central to our meal growing up. No matter how many of us there were to gather, often more than 50 of us scrunched in the basement, we always started with grace to give thanks. This simple act is a core memory. I can clearly remember sitting at one of the 4 tables looking up to an uncle before we thanked God for all we had.
Now, Thanksgiving looks a lot different than growing up. From 50 people, we now celebrate with just the 5 of us, sometimes with a neighbor or my aunt and uncle with a stray cousin in from college or out of state. That simple act of grace is still essential to our meal. My niece always begins prayer for us. I hope our act of giving grace becomes a core memory for her and my nephew.
Over my life, I think of other core memories. Almost all of them revolve around my faith. I remember my confirmation and each and every time I was a confirmation sponsor. I clearly remember funeral masses for family and dear friends. The sacrament of marriage for my best friend. Baptism for each of my godchildren. And sacrament of the sick for my mom before she passed away. Giving God thanks is core to all of these moments.
At school, we are starting preparation for first reconciliation and first communion in second grade. These important sacraments are so foundational to our school. We celebrate reconciliation with our 3rd-6th graders at least twice a year. We attend mass weekly to receive His Body. In all we do, we give thanks.
It could be hard to give thanks this year. It was not the start we were hoping for after recovering from a flood to lose a teacher right away. But we give thanks. Thanks that we came together as a staff and school community. Thanks for a tremendous celebration of Ms. LaCinski’s life. Thanks to Dr. Heller who has rejoined us this year knowing that we needed help. Even in sorrow, we give thanks to God.
The rest of the year promises to be filled with His abundant blessings. While we may be faced with adversity, this community of parishioners, the staff, and families are exactly who I want to be with. They help the school through hard work. They help our school remain grounded in faith.
Looking ahead, we are so excited to bring our families and parishioners together in some upcoming events. We have our Secret Santa shopping for our students to purchase gifts for their families. So many of our parents and grandparents help out to bring smiles to our kids’ faces. The St. John School Holiday Craft Show is coming up on Saturday, December 2 from
10am-3pm. We hope to see you there. We will soon be hosting our Christmas lunch for the school and love how the Knights help us make this such a memorable day for our students. Last, we will have our annual Christmas concert. We invite you to come hear our students celebrate the season Wednesday, December 20.
So much good is happening in the school and I thank God for that. I thank God each time I say Amen and consume His Body for the sacrifices He made so we can be a community in His life here at St. John.