Living A Eucharistic Life.
Thanksgiving originated in the US as a harvest festival after George Washington’s 1789 proclamation. But how does an annual federal holiday truly relate to the Eucharistic life that each of us are called to live as Christians? To search for answers, please join me on a virtual pilgrimage to the Holy Land as we explore the life of Israel’s King David, a “man after God’s own heart”.
“Oh Lord, You put gladness into my heart, more than when grain and wine abound.” (Psalms 4:8)
The Greek word for “thanksgiving” is Eucharista, which is what we, as Catholics, celebrate every time we attend Mass. There, united with the saints and angels, we participate in the eternal banquet of thanksgiving, and give praise, honor and glory to the Son of God. During catholic liturgy, we offer our lives, humble thanks, and gifts of bread, wine and water to God, who, in return, elevates, perfects and transforms them into the very Body, Blood, life and existence of His Son, Jesus. We then, as members of His Body, are called to live a “Eucharistic” life of thanksgiving. But how do we live this life of divine thanksgiving? The answer: By becoming men and women after God’s own heart.
A shepherd boy, mighty warrior, musician, poet, sinner and saint. These words all describe King David, and yet he will always be remembered best as a “man after God’s own heart,” (Acts 13:22). In David, we find a great example of the “Eucharistic” life. David did not view an intimate connection with God as some kind of vague matter, for his experience of God was real and very much connected to his earthly life. “Only in God be at rest, my soul, for from him comes my hope. He only is my rock and my salvation”, (Psalms 62:6-7). David had a strong desire for closeness with God, for there he found holiness, loving kindness, refuge, power, glory and the waters of life. “How precious is your loving kindness, O God! The children of men take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They have their fill of the prime gifts of your house; from your delightful stream you give them to drink,”(Psalms 36:8-9).
“The one thing I ask of the Lord; this I seek: To dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, that I may gaze on the loveliness of the Lord and contemplate his temple,” (Psalm 27:4). With the eyes of faith, David continuously found himself within the very sanctuary of God. There, he gazed upon God’s power and glory with thanksgiving. During the Mass, we too gaze upon the power and glory of God. During liturgy, however, we do not praise His Holy Name alone, for there, we celebrate in “communion”. Therefore, the Eucharistic life is not only a life lived in union with God, but also one lived in communion with others. In joyful appreciation for the unmerited gifts of God, we are called to share these gifts with others through loving acts of kindness and charity. Through self-sacrifice and love, we too participate in Christ’s eternal Sacrifice and become partakers in the eternal banquet of thanksgiving. This heavenly feast has a guest list without number, and God, as the host, wants to fill up each and every seat. Therefore, this Thanksgiving Season, let us strive to imitate God, the ultimate Host, as we welcome others, not only into our home, but also into the eternal house of God! Amen and Happy Thanksgiving.
“I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will declare all your wondrous deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, Most High, because my enemies are turned back, overthrown and destroyed before you,” (Psalms 9:2-4).
3:00 p.m. prayer for Divine Mercy.
Eternal Father, I offer You, the Body and Blood, soul and divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and the sins of the entire world.
For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the entire world. (Repeat two more times).
Jesus, I trust in You.
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