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Bishop Burbidge Says Thanksgiving Offers Perfect Way to Begin Advent

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Thanksgiving Day Homily
Sacred Heart Cathedral
November 26, 2009

With gratitude in your hearts to God is the phrase Saint Paul emphasizes in our Reading today. We are here today at this Eucharist to express that gratitude and our profound thanks to the Lord who is the Source of all that we have and do and the Giver of every good gift. What a perfect way to begin this joyful day!

Actually, today is also a splendid way to prepare for what we begin this weekend: the sacred Season of Advent, a time to get our hearts ready to celebrate anew the birth of our Savior. It is meant to be a time of peace and great serenity. Yet, so many acknowledge that these weeks become extremely busy, somewhat chaotic and even tense. However, if the gratitude in our hearts today prevails along with the conviction that the Lord is the Source of all that we have and do, then this Advent will be our best preparation ever.

Instead of chaos, our priorities will be in order, namely a spirit of prayerfulness as we seek to deepen our relationship with the Lord.

Instead of constant running as if everything depends on us, we will do what Advent calls us to do: to slow down and stay focused on the things that are above.

Instead of trying to accumulate more for ourselves and our families, we will use our gifts as the Lord intended: in service of others, especially the most needy.

Instead of remaining at odds with God and one another, we will celebrate God’s mercy in the Sacrament of Penance and in thanksgiving for His gift of mercy, we will extend forgiveness to anyone who has offended us.

Saint Paul says it quite simply today, “Be thankful.”  We are. Thus, we take the time unlike the other nine in today’s Gospel, to express our gratitude. If we continue to do so throughout Advent then we will be spiritually prepared to celebrate anew the birth of Our Lord Jesus, the Source of all that we have and do and the Giver of every good gift.