Today’s Gospel presents us with the teaching about using the “talents” that God has given each of us: “Well done, my good and faith- ful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.” God has given us many gifts: time, talents and abilities, attitude, graces and blessings. For these gifts, we should always be eternally grateful. We need to remember that these were not given to us just for our happiness, but to share them and give them to build up others who may be in need in any way. As the Peace Prayer of St. Francis says: “It is in giving that we receive.” Many do not see the value of this, but it lies at the heart of the Christian message and the Christian ways of life. And…we know that it is true!

This Thursday we celebrate Thanksgiving, an important tradition here in the United States. Abraham Lincoln in 1863 declared that this day would be set aside each year as a national day to give thanks. For us as Christians, it reminds us that giving thanks and especially the virtue of gratitude are important qualities that we have as believers. Gratitude enables us to give thanks to God every day of our lives for ordinary blessings and for special blessings that we receive. Cultivating the virtue opens us up to be sensitive to the positive and life giving moments and happenings in our lives rather than focusing on the negative and evil happenings that occur daily. Know that we, the Friars and Sta here at St. Francis, wish you a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving. Know that you will be remembered in our prayers for the blessing that you are to us!

-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.