As I was approaching the front of the Communion line this Sunday, I was struck with a thought.
“Eucharist” means “Thanksgiving.”
God’s greatest gift to us – the gift of himself, that we receive, that becomes a part of us, that takes us up into him and transforms us – is really the gift of receiving.
Be Thankful for the Gift of Jesus!
Jesus comes to us fully, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.
He gives himself to us completely, without holding back.
We can approach him, our God, our King, even though we’re not worthy; and we can receive him who desires to become one with us.
He unites himself to us.
Do we realize the infinite worth of this gift?
Jesus didn’t have to come to us this way, but he did.
When he went to the Cross, he offered himself to the follower in atonement for our sins. He redeemed us; he saved us.
But in the Eucharist, he helps us receive the gift of Salvation – over and over, every week, every day if we wish.
He helps us embrace the gift of forgiveness of our sins, welcome his transformation in our lives, and draw closer to him.
It’s the gift of receiving.
And, what is receiving a gift, without gratitude?
We all know the pain of giving a gift – the gift of our time, the gift of our talents, the gift of our love, or even a physical gift – that is rejected by the giver.
The fault is not with the gift or the giver of the gift, but with the heart of the receiver.
It stings when the receiver doesn’t open herself up to our love.
The rejection is keenly felt.
Ah, but when the receiver delights in our gift, receives it with joy, and responds with joyful thanksgiving, then our hearts are full!
Then we have achieved a deeper unity, a deeper relationship between giver and receiver of the gift!
Christ desires that when he comes to us in the Eucharist.
He gives us the greatest gift of all, and he longs for us to receive him with joyful hearts, filled with love and thanksgiving.
The Eucharist is a gift of giving and receiving, a gift that evokes our thanksgiving, a gift that is meant to fill our hearts with gratitude.
When we approach the banquet table of God, let our hearts be moved with gratitude for his love.
Let us overflow with thanksgiving, as we draw near to him.
Let’s remember to thank Jesus for being who he is: our God, our Redeemer, our Savior, our Friend!
And for giving himself to us in the greatest gift of all.
Be Thankful for Friends and Family!
This week, as we approach the dinner table of the Thanksgiving holiday, maybe we can reflect on the gift of our relationships, and find a way to enter into them with thanksgiving.
Our friends and family are a gift to us.
How often do we receive the gift that they are – intentionally, with gratitude and thanksgiving?
We can spark our hearts to overflow with thanksgiving for the human relationships, the friends and family who surround us.
We can approach them ready to receive the gift that they are to us, and to return that gift with gratitude and love.
This week, as our family packs our bags to travel and visit extended family and friends, we’re writing thanksgiving cards for each person we’re going to see.
The card will say “Thanks for being you” and celebrate the gift of our family and friends.
We will celebrate the gift of our human relationships, which reflect in a small way the perfect gift of Jesus’ relationship with us!
Do you want to give and receive the gift of relationship with your friends and family this Thanksgiving?
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