Give Thanks, Indeed
This Thanksgiving won’t be celebrated the way many of us hoped and imagined back when the pandemic started. And yet, we are alive. Most of us reading these words can breathe freely. The virus has reminded us to never again take these simple matters for granted. One of our wisest teachers about prayer, Dominican priest Meister Eckhardt (1260-1329), said: If the only prayer you ever said in your entire life is thank you, that would suffice. Even amid hard times, giving thanks to God is appropriate. Let it be your prayer today.
A Special Thanksgiving Prayer in Time of Pandemic
(written by Diana Macalintal, who was the Liturgy Director for the Diocese of San Jose)
On this Thanksgiving Day like no other,
even now, O God, your name is worthy to be praised.
For in your mercy and kindness
no thought of ours is left unguarded,
no tear unheeded, and no joy unnoticed.
For the blessings we have known
and for those we have yet to recognize,
to you we give our grateful thanks.
For life that reminds us how fragile we are
and also how strong we can be: We thank you, O God.
For sheltering that urges us
to rediscover what truly matters: We thank you, O God.
For communication that allows us
to connect in ways new and old: We thank you, O God.
And for mindfulness that shows us
how much we rely on one another: We thank you, O God.
Watch over your family, Lord, gathered here
and at tables separated by miles,
and bless those who work tirelessly to keep us all safe.
Though we may be kept apart
on this day that calls us together,
we know your Spirit draws us close.
Lord, we ask you to ease the pain of empty chairs
that bring to mind our beloved dead.
Let our grieving find its rest in your Son, Jesus,
in whose Resurrection is our hope.
Grant your Spirit to be present here
that this meal may become a foretaste of your heavenly table
where every tear shall be wiped away, every hunger fed,
and no distance can separate us from your love in Christ,
from whom all good things come.
Copyright © Diana Macalintal, 2020. First published by Give Us This Day