It’s hard to believe, but Thanksgiving is here already. And while we all have some problems and concerns in our life, Thanksgiving is a time to “accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.” For no matter what we don’t have, as long as we have God, we have everything we need. As St. Augustine said, “He who has everything but has not God, has nothing, and he who has nothing but has God, has everything.”
As I look back on my life, I am most grateful for a loving family (mother, father, sister), the faith in which I was raised and saw lived by a devout father, the civilian and military parishes in which I served, some outstanding priests with whom I worked, and some loyal friends. Today I am especially thankful to serve as your pastor. When I was first ordained, I wanted two things in a parish – a nice church building that looked like a church inside and out, and a school. We are blessed to have both. The church is very attractive, well lit, has an excellent sound system, and good acoustics. The school is outstanding with wonderful teachers, an excellent staff, superb academics which partners with the U.S. Naval Academy in its STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Program. Also, and perhaps most importantly, our school is blessed with awesome children; it’s where I go to get reenergized as I share my faith with the children. Finally, I am very thankful for the wonderful parish staff who give so much of themselves to the parish and so much support to me.
And I bet if you sat down as I have done, you could come up with a similar list in your situation.