Thanksgiving carries many family traditions. Families gather around the dinner table, feast on turkey and stuffing, play games, watch football, talk about the things for which they are grateful, and many more customs. Commercialism attempts to dictate and draw your attention on shopping and self-centeredness. Thanksgiving is associated with food, family, and Black Friday deals. However, the real Thanksgiving was instituted 2,000 years ago and comes in the form of a tiny piece of bread.
The word “Eucharist” originates from the Greek word “eucharistia”, meaning “thanksgiving”. At the Last Supper, the night before He was crucified, Jesus instituted the Eucharist. He gave thanks for the work of God. “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, ‘Take and eat; this is my body,’ Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.’”(Matthew 26:26-28)
Jesus gave thanks for God’s path to forgiveness of sins. He gave thanks for our salvation. Jesus did not need forgiveness and He did not need salvation. He thanked God the Father for redemption. Jesus knew what He faced the following day and, yet He gave thanks to the Father for what it would accomplish. When we gather around our family feast, football, and our loved ones, let us remember to take a moment to pray and give thanks to the Lord for His sacrifice and for the Father for sending His Son to pave the path for our redemption.
“Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” (Psalm 106:1) We must remember that, despite whatever circumstances we may be facing today, God is still good. His love will never dry up, run out, or stop flowing over us. He showers down His everlasting love and goodness upon us. One way He bestows His love upon us is through the Eucharist. He desires to fill us with His grace and goodness through the Blessed Sacrament.
Just as thanksgiving for our loved ones and blessings should not be confined to one day of the year, our gratitude to the Lord should never be confined to one prayer or one day. “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night.” (Psalms 92:1-2) The Lord is the source of all goodness and blessings. One of the ways He bestows blessings upon us is through His body, blood, soul, and divinity in the Eucharist. God is the great Creator. Jesus is the source of thanksgiving. As we celebrate our blessings, let us not neglect giving thanks to the Lord. Receiving Christ in the Eucharist is one of the most powerful ways we can give thanks. Eucharistia is thanksgiving.