(Sirach 50:22-24; I Corinthians 1:3-9; Luke 17:11-19)
A mother was saying how her daughter was celebrating Thanksgiving in Japan. Away from home for the first time, the daughter had received recipes and other ideas for a Thanksgiving feast. Most Americans abroad try to come together for the holiday. It seems that they are drawn by something more than the custom of eating turkey with cranberries and sweet potatoes. They appear to instinctively feel the need to give thanks.
Humans are built to depend on one another. We will be able to get along without a particular person, but we always need others to grow, even to survive. Someone has to provide food for a child. Everyone needs teachers and doctors. There cannot be industry without workers. Although people are paid for their services, we still are grateful to them for work done well. We also give thanks for the source of all the benefits we enjoy. We recognize that the same Creator of the earth also moves human hearts to assist others.
Today’s first reading expresses the spirit of Thanksgiving Day. It calls on everyone to give thanks to God, the source of all goodness. It further recognizes that our dependence upon God never ceases. We must pray to God not only for the basic needs of life but also for the peace that makes life worth living.