We just finished our Thanksgiving Day Divine Liturgy a little while ago and as always, it was wonderful. Not many in church today because of the absence of heat in the building but it was beautiful nonetheless. Divine Liturgy is always a beautiful way to start off Thanksgiving as it really puts the entire day in the proper light.
I want to wish you all a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving. May your time spent with family and friends today be filled with laughter and smiles and the blessings of Almighty God. As you gather round your table for a hearty Thanksgiving meal and give thanks for all the blessings and gifts God has so abundantly showered upon you, please take time to remember those of our brothers and sisters who are homeless and have nothing to eat. Being alone is often good for the soul, for our spiritual growth and maturity, but loneliness is something totally different. So, remember those who are going without today.
Yesterday was the last day we handed out Thanksgiving baskets for the poor at the Cathedral. We spent Monday and Tuesday giving them out as well. Over the course of the three days, we distributed over 80 boxes to families in need. Each box was filled with a turkey; a box of instant mashed potatoes; cans of cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, corn, carrots and green beans; gravy; stuffing, a loaf of bread, and a pie. We could have distributed more if we had more because there were people that just came in off the street asking if we could help them out. Clearly, the need was greater this year than last. I really hate turning people away. I will be thinking of them today.
Think about starting a new Thanksgiving tradition this year by making Thanksgiving Day a day for doing for others and put Black Friday traditions at the bottom of the list. If you have any food left over, pack it up, seek out someone living on the street and give it to them while you are on your way out to start your annual "Black Friday" shopping rituals. Go out of your way to make today a good day for someone less fortunate. In doing so, you will make today a good memory that will warm your heart for years to come.
God bless you and yours!