As you may know, the Kempf family celebrates Thanksgiving on Wednesday nights. It makes it easier for the married ones among us to spend time with their other side of the family, and it allows us to visit uninterrupted, instead of having family who can only make it for dessert or for dinner, but not both. It has served us well.
Toward the end of the evening, not in a real planned or orderly way, and with a lot of interruptions – we got to the question: What are you thankful for? It is a good question. And a common question this time of year. But upon reflection on my ride home last night, I also think it is a DEAD WRONG question to ask. And I think it is wrong because the pronoun is wrong. What are YOU thankful for? Where is the focus to that question? It strikes me – “I” am the focus of that. (or whomever is answering that question.) I, the one giving thanks, is the important one as you answer that, not the one who is the source of all our blessings.
Maybe I am nit picking. Maybe that is the way it has to happen in our psyche – we rise from our awareness of self to the awareness of God. But when I woke up with a song in my head this morning, I thought there might be something to my musings on the car ride home… The song is by the St. Louis Jesuits, titled: “May we praise you.” (I played it at my first mass, and my 25th, both at the thanksgiving time of mass.) For me, this song embodies the grateful response. It captures rightly the focus of this day.
The words go like this…
May we praise you, O Lord,
With heart and hands and voice.
And since life itself is your gift to us,
Then may all that we are be yours…
May our living be true
May all return to you.
And when life is done, let our passing be
Like a birth into light of day
Let your step light our path
Let shades of dark not last
May the Son of justice return on high
And your love be our road and guide.
To the Father be praise
To Son and Spirit praise
Unto God the one let all praise be done
Till the dawn of the lasting day.
May we praise…
SO, as we listen to this song, let it guide your praise of God for all the good that God has done for you…