National Day of Thanksgiving
various scripture references
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Countless times we have heard the story of the ten lepers. Jesus and His disciples were traveling through Samaria, through no-man’s land. Approaching a village, they are approached by ten men with leprosy. They cry out to Jesus, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” They didn’t call out with the usual cry to stay away since they were unclean. However, having heard of Jesus, they knew He could make them clean. “Go, show yourselves to the priests,” Jesus replies. On the way, all ten are made clean and would be declared as such by the priests, allowing them to return to their regular routines and lives. However, one of the ten, realizing that he was clean, returned to Jesus to thank Him; the priests could wait—Jesus had done to this man what he believed Jesus could. (cf. Luke 17:11-19)
Countless times we have heard as St. Paul exhorts Timothy, and by extension, Timothy’s hearers, to make supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks for all men, for kings and all who are in authority. For one thing, with regard to kings and those in authority, they would not be kings or have authority apart from God granting it to them. God gives government so that all people can live a quiet and peaceable life—so that believers can do so in godliness and reverence to Him. For another, with regard to all men, including kings and those in authority, we are to give thanks because God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (cf. 1 Timothy 2:1-14)
Countless times we have heard as God briefly recounts Israel’s past as they are about to enter Canaan. “Remember,” God tells his chosen people; “Remember the LORD your God who led you through the wilderness these 40 years out of the land of slavery.” Through those 40 years, their clothes and shoes did not wear out, and God provided them just enough manna and quail to survive one day to the next. This He did to teach them that “man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that process from the mouth of the LORD.” And why? Because He was about to bring them into a good land flowing with brooks and springs of water, land filled with wheat and barley and vines and figs and pomegranates and olive oil and honey. God’s chosen people were about to receive much more than they could have ever imagined after 40 years of want and destitution. And God says, “When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you.” (cf. Deuteronomy 8:1-10)