• Deacon Bob Evans

Sometimes It Takes Thorns


The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth, by Jennie Augusta Brownscombe, 1914

The tradition in America of reserving the fourth Thursday in November for giving thanks to God for our blessings dates back to the days of President George Washington. With worship services, grand meals and family gatherings, Thanksgiving Day is one of the most popular days of the year.

A wonderful old priest, Fr Tom Walsh, of Blessed Sacrament parish in Scottsdale, who has since gone home to his heavenly reward, used to say, “Thanksgiving is a great day for all, unless you’re a turkey!”

Openly expressing our gratitude deepens

our enjoyment of the present.

In spite of all the discouraging news we are bombarded with each day, there is much for us to be thankful for. Most of us have our family, our friends, a roof over our heads, love, laughter, gentle breezes, football, freedom like nowhere else in the world; and most of all the love of God. And, openly expressing our gratitude deepens our enjoyment of the present. It puts us in a better frame of mind for forgiveness, forgiveness for others as well as ourselves. Our energy, our health, our wellbeing all benefit from the experience of openly expressing gratitude.

But Thanksgiving Day is not all “roses” for everyone. And, that may include you. A recent loss of a loved one, a serious injury, loss of a job or friendship, challenges that may seem to be too much can weigh heavily on your heart. You may want to give it a try at being ‘part of the scene,’ or just want to hide away for the day. You just may not be into Thanksgiving this year.

God comforts us when we're afflicted and from

His consolation, we learn to comfort others.

In your mind, of course, you know that bad times come and go for all of us. So, know that it is the bad times that make the good times so special. St Paul wrote to his friends in Corinth that God comforts us when we're afflicted and from His consolation, we learn to comfort others [cf. 2 Cor 1:4]. We readily enjoy the ‘flowers in life,’ sometimes it takes thorns to show us the beauty of God's comfort. But we have to be willing to let God comfort us.

It is my prayer that this Thanksgiving will remind you of how much you have to be thankful for and reassure you that, if things are not going well for you this year, in a quiet moment when you least expect it, you will feel God’s loving arms around you. It’s in bearing with the thorns that we may better appreciate the roses.

‘Till next time, Happy Thanksgiving,

Dcn. Bob Evans

November 27, 2019

Scripture references

2 Corinthians 1:4

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