What I said at the prayer service yesterday:
Yesterday I asked my students what came to mind when they thought of Thanksgiving. The answer at first was:
In that order.
Then after a few seconds of thought, one of my students said, Thanksgiving is based on a lie. We’re celebrating a story that didn’t happen the way we wish it did with the Pilgrims and the Indians. We all know how it really turned out for the Indians and it wasn’t good.
And I thought
My little brother is conscious.
Which is why I am grateful for your whole generation.
Because if it was you back then it would have turned out a better way for everybody.
You are the information generation.
In other words
You value the truth.
And that can only be good for our future.
Because the TRUTH of the old-fashioned picture of the Pilgrims and Indians celebrating the first Thanksgiving, that is, the kindness and generosity and the gift of life handed from one group of people to another, is something we should be celebrating. We crave kindness. We crave human connection and love and mashed potatoes, family and stuffing.
In Luke 6, Jesus said,
But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
Take a deep breath.
We celebrate Thanksgiving because we are already so grateful. We desire the kindness and generosity the holiday represents, regardless of how we’ve fallen short in the past. Every moment is a new opportunity to seek truth, to act with kindness, and to behave with the grace and mercy Jesus has called on us to share.
So now let’s bow our heads and pray:
At CBHS we talk in lots of acronyms
That is, words made up of letters standing in for other words
We have CB, FCP, AP, CP, CBHS
Maybe this is God just trying to talk to us in code.
Because I see that CBHS stands for Christian Brothers High School
But I also see
Students who are
CARING AND BEAUTIFUL
COURAGEOUS AND BRAVEHEARTED
CREATIVE AND BRILLIANT
COOL AND BRAINY
ALL THEY CAN BE
I SEE IN CP THAT WE ARE CELEBRATION PEOPLE
AP? ALL POSSIBILITIES, YEAH AND I HAVE ANOTHER CORRECTION
GIVE ME FCP I’LL GIVE YOU FUNDAMENTALLY CREATED IN PERFECTION
Because we are the FALCONS
FRIENDS ALL LOOKING CONSCIOUSLY ON NEW SOCIETY
And we are the BROTHERS
BELIEVERS REJOICING OVER THE HOLY ETERNAL RENEWING SPIRIT
And we have GRATITUDE because GRATITUDE is NOT
GRABBING REVENUE AND TORMENT IN THE USUAL DEVILISH EVERYDAY.
GRATITUDE is NOT
GOD REFUSAL AND TEXTING INSTEAD OF TALKING UNTILL DESTRUCTION EVERY WAY
GOD REMINDS ALL: TURN INWARD THE UNCHAINED DEFEAT EVIL.
So join hands around the table and see God in each other
Put down the cell phone and say thank you to your mother
Be good to the little ones and the old ones and aunt Mabel
And be nice about the fact you still got to sit at the kid table.
Because we know that the story of love is only a lie if we make it so.
We’ve got the power of the promise and the Gospel lets us know
Let us remember we are in the holy presence of GOD
GREAT ORIGINATOR DIVINE
Holding us in the TRUTH that is yours and mine.
Thank you. Thank God for you. Happy Thanksgiving.