November 22, 2020
Though this is an American tradition, in almost every country and in every religion, there is some way of saying “thank you” in a formal ritual. This year, because of the coronavirus pandemic, our Thanksgiving Day gatherings will be different. Home get-togethers will be smaller. Family and friends talking on the phone, FaceTime or Zoom may be the norm. While I will miss our usual family gathering, I plan on calling many of the people who would have been at our Thanksgiving meal.
Here at Divine Mercy we will begin the day with 9:00 a.m. Mass. If you can, please join us. While you may need to get things together in the kitchen and ready your home, because celebrations may be smaller, you might have an hour to spend in prayer with other parishioners. I hope you will be able to come.
Even in the midst of this pandemic there are things for which we are thankful. People helping people: first responders, EMTs, doctors, nurses, all hospital and nursing home workers. Soup kitchens and pantries around the state have done wonders in assisting people. Shelters have used creative ways to house those without a place to stay. Stories abound of people doing extraordinary things.
In all of this we may not like wearing masks, using hand sanitizers and staying distant from people. But it is the only, small but reasonable, way for each of us to do our part in stopping the virus until there is a vaccine.
So, this year I am thankful for the people who have reminded me to help others in small ways. People showing up for Mass and offering to lector, help distribute Communion, greet people at the door, help sanitize after Mass. I am grateful for people continuing to plan for our future in our parish Finance and Pastoral Councils. I greatly appreciate our staff who has continued to work and help serve the parish of Divine Mercy though we struggle with having people in the office. Our school, religious education program and Early Learning Center have worked under difficult conditions, but continue to do a terrific job. I am truly grateful for all those who did the alpha course on line, the Columbiettes and Knights of Columbus who have organized foods drives and the people who run our food pantry. I truly appreciate all those who have spoken to me about their fears, struggles and pressures because of the pandemic. Many have asked questions and raised issues that are deeply troubling. Though I may not have answers to every question and may not respond with the best answer or in the best way, I do thank them all for bringing forth their concerns.
This year, unlike any other, may we be thankful for each other and know in the depths of our hearts that God is with us, helping us to get through this together.