Why does Jesus teach us to be thankful?

by | Nov 25, 2021 | Blog, News and Updates | 0 comments

Credits: Cathopic, Fray Foto

This November 25, several countries celebrate Thanksgiving, that is, “Thanksgiving Day”. It is a day to give thanks for what we have received during the year, from the fruits of the field that feed us, to the people who have made it possible. 

Of course, this celebration has become controversial during the last years because it represents the oppression of the colonizers to the native families who had to give up their homes, their lands, and in that their spirituality: their connection with the Creator. Also because many of the things we are thankful for on this day come from the exploitation of people in poor countries or their territories. 

However, we can transform it into a more conscious celebration from our evangelical and ecological spirituality: 

Mass, thanksgiving 

Cardinal Albert Vanhoye in his book ‘God So Loved the World: Lectio Divina on the Sacrifice of Christ’ explains to us that thanksgiving is, in fact, the center of Jesus’ life and the center of our faith: “Jesus took bread, and giving thanks to God, he broke it and gave it to his disciples”. “Eucharist” comes from the Greek “thanksgiving”. 

This same attitude of Jesus is expressed in the passage of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes: thanking the Father and sharing, an essential part of our being Christians, Catholics. “In the Gospels we use ‘bless’ or ‘give thanks’, for they are two ways of expressing the same thing. Jesus thanks the Father for life: the actions, the food, the miracles he performs and even his disciples. What does it mean for Jesus to be a Son if not a continual receiving from the Father?” (Card. Vanhoye). 

Is it our salvation to give thanks to God?

There is a preface in the celebration of the Eucharist in which the priest says “Truly it is right and necessary, it is our duty and salvation to thank you, holy Father, always and everywhere, through Jesus Christ, your beloved Son.” 

How have you experienced that you become more united to God, to people and to Creation when you take the time to contemplate and give thanks for what God gives you daily? Can we experience the filial joy of Jesus if we live with his same attitude of ‘thanksgiving’? 

We invite you to pray this Advent with our Calendar “God’s Gifts in Creation”. 

Sandra Estrada
Sandra Estrada

Social Media Coordinator
Sandra Estrada is a Communicologist with a specialization in Scientific Outreach, Visual Communication and Spirituality. She studied Laudato Si’ with SIGNIS in the Amazon (Ecuador) and at the Javeriana University (India); she co-wrote and translated the e-book “Unfold Nest: a journey towards new forms of life”. She writes and lectures on spirituality, interreligious and intercultural dialogue and mental health. Content Creator and member of: SIGNIS, Ignatian Youth Network (Jesuits), Virtues in Movement Network and Catholic Link.

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