As we approach Thanksgiving Day Weekend let's remember the real reason for our gratitude. While the material blessings and the bounty of the earth are rightly acknowledged we need to see underneath them to the Giver of all Gifts, who has given us the greatest of gifts: our Faith. And that faith is birthed, nurtured and matured in the loving arms of His Church. And so a little appreciation and gratitude in the words of poet Maya Angelou:
"It's Sacred: Church":
Everything in God's world is sacred. Trees and roads and
little girls' eyes. Grandfather's hands
and the murmuring voices of lovers. Sacred
A poet's dream, almanac compilers and rocks that
look up at the moon. Sacred. Everything can be
church and anything can be church.
Church was the first public place where I came
child to spirit to Christ. "Suffer the little children
to come unto me, for such is the Kingdom of Heaven."
Literally, church introduced me to my very first
friend. Louise and I both thought the preacher
talked too long. Mrs. Sneed sang too loudly and
Brother Williams got too wild when he prayed.
We both giggled at the same time and cried just
as piteously when we were chastised.
Every time I feel the spirit, I know I am
immersed in the essence of church. This knowledge
changes my voice. I speak more softly and
choose my words more carefully. There are more
"yes ma'ams" and "no ma'ams" and "yes sirs" and
"no sirs" in my conversation.
Out of my heart, out of my brain, more
"thank yous" slide across my tongue. I am blessed.
I am in church.
Church is not the luggage I bear, nor the cloak I
wear. It is neither the hat I sport, nor the shoes
which carry me around my world. It is not my
destination, nor my place of departure.
I cannot define the breadth and depth and width
and height of church, but church can define me
always. It slides the skin over my muscles and
allows my lungs to inspirate and fill so that
"Hallelujahs" like rain come from my mouth,
"Hallelujahs" fall like rain from my lips.
Church is where I go when I want a certain fulfillment,
and church is where I don't have to go
because it is always with me,
holding me up,
propelling me forward,
When I think about church and remember that
church and I are one, I am reminded that everything
in God's world is sacred.
Thanks to all of you for making church be church and keeping church as church. On this Thanksgiving Day know that I, your pastor, give thanks for all of you, the Church. Sacred indeed.
Be assured of my prayers.
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Fr. John Bonavitacola