Today is Thanksgiving Day, a day officially established by President Abraham Lincoln to give thanks to God ever since the Civil War. As it is the only day in the American civil calendar set aside to expressly thank God, even the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America eases the Nativity Fast to allow for a ‘traditional’ turkey meal. Over the years the holiday has taken a nearly totally secular character with focus on football games and shopping sprees.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and most Americans will gather around banquet tables thankful for the overabundance of blessings in their lives. Many of those will forget their sense of gratitude by the time the sun rises on “Black Friday” which is the known to be the busiest retail sales day of the entire year. Many will forget they haven’t always had what they have today. We are called to much more as Orthodox Christians.
In the Gospel According to St Luke we hear about a very successful farmer who also forgot the purpose of the blessings God had given to him. After experiencing a bumper crop he was faced with a decision since his harvest was so plentiful his barns were not big enough to store everything he had. “I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods.
Today the Church commemorates the memory of the Holy and Glorious Apostle Philip, through who’s personal witness the Good News of Jesus Christ spread among the first disciples.
God calls us to love, but love can only be expressed in a relationship spending time together. This is why He came and live among us, so that we could know Him and live with Him. As Orthodox Christians we express that life in Holy Communion, through which we get to spend time with God, to know Him and to love Him.
When we meet that special person whom we will eventually marry, our stomach begins to churn, our mouth goes dry, and sometimes we may even get a little dizzy. When we are asked how do we know we are in love, our response is often based upon these physical symptoms rather than any rational explanation. That is because love isn’t rational. It is an emotion we cannot control.
Today’s Gospel reading is a consumer reports nightmare. It is filled with false advertising and lost promises. That is, if you are reading from a consumer point of view. Here is the reading:
We often hear the expression “making a name for yourself” or some variation of it when speaking about how we interact with society. We are surrounded by names. Streets, buildings, rivers, mountains, even cities and counties often bear the name of someone famous from history. It has long been a tradition of humanity to leave behind some sort of legacy for future generations to remember us by.
With the recent public outcry and racial tensions in America lately over a few (in my opinion) overly publicized legal cases, I have decided to say a few words on the subject, because words matter. Language is a very important element in any society as it defines how members of said society “agree to interact” along personal, social and business transactions.