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Analysis: Thanksgiving – Eucharistic Ethos

November 28, 2021

Another Thanksgiving Day has arrived. It is amazing how quickly a year has passed and now we are again at the great, holy, and historic, if you wish, Day of the Thanksgiving. It is a Feast that reminds all of us of a very powerful and obvious word which we don’t speak as often as we should, the word: ‘thanks’.

Thanksgiving Day! It is indeed a holy and historic feast for our great American Nation, the best empire of the modern world. It is a feast that has its roots and origins in the first immigrants who stepped on the soil of this great and blessed land of freedom with blessings which are given freely and richly to all without discrimination and reservation. The American People place this feast at the top of its list of feasts and celebrations, pronouncing the word ‘Thanksgiving’ with respect and love. And the people of America have so many things to be thankful to God for, all His gifts and benefits, the seen and the unseen, with which He has decorated this New Promised Land.

Let us not forget that our Greek-Orthodox Faith and Tradition is in essence Eucharistic, which means every day is Thanksgiving Day. After all, the primary service of the Church, known as the Divine Liturgy, is the Eucharistic Paschal Supper of Christ, in which we acquire the very ‘being’ of our identity because above all we are Eucharistic and Doxological existences – giving thanks and glory to God.

We have so many reasons to be thankful to God. Here are some:

Thankful for the endless love of God that gives us the gift of life. We continue to exist because God continues to love us and love us abundantly. God is the source of love and life. God doesn’t simply have love, He is love.

Thankful for the most precious gift of health because without it life becomes a torment. Even a small illness or common cold brings discomfort and fills us with dysphoria.

Thankful for our families, our spouses and our children and our children’s children. The family is a great and sacred institution and without it life is one-dimensional. The family is a micro-church with all the dynamics that love and coexistence creates, which we call an association of persons (κοινωνία προσώπων).

Thankful for the loving people of our hearts with whom we share life.

Thankful for our friends who add to our lives another dimension in our human relations because of their nearness. It is true that a good friend is blessing of God.

Thankful for all the food and the things that God provides us in order to sustain our biological episode of limited duration, from our birth to our death, which we call ‘life’.

Thankful for everything, especially thankful to God “for all things and for all.”

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