May we be Blessed Today, and Everyday

Remember the past with gratitude.
Live the present with enthusiasm.
Look forward to the future with confidence.      
-St. Pope John Paul II

The origins of this quote from St. Pope John Paul II are rooted in his Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineute on January 6, 2001, at the close of the Great Jubilee celebrating the two thousandth anniversary of Jesus’ birth and the opening of the new millennium. Twenty years later, these words continue to ring out to us, inviting us to remember, live, and trust with confidence: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Heb 13:8)

COVID has necessitated a change in how things might look in our homes, but there is no virus that can impede the gratitude which enfolds us as we gather around tables of abundance, counting the blessings we have been given to nourish our bodies, minds, and spirits. We, like the early pilgrims of faith, know the value of the past and look with faith on what is to come. Today we are blessed by the bounty of our labor and know that our tables will become ones of thanks-giving.

Thanksgiving Day Table Prayer

We give thanks to You, God of life…

For the gifts that you have given to us in one another
     and we pray this day, for those who are absent from our table.

We ask your blessing on the food before us and those whose labor has prepared it
     and we pray for those who hunger for food and labor.

We ask you to bless us with strength in body, mind, and spirit
     and we pray for those in need of health, happiness, and faith.

We give thanks for our nation born of faith, courage, and love’s labor
     and we pray for those parts of our nation and world torn by violence and war.

We give thanks for all those you have given to us in family and friends
and we remember those who have been called from this life
                              (name those we have lost)

We give thanks for this time to make memories,
     letting go of that which divides us,
          forgiving and being forgiven,
               that we might begin anew to live fully alive in joy.

Bless this food before us,
the people that join us,
and all those you join us in the worldwide family of hope

With gratitude, we pray,