In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Oct 7, 2017

A holy Thanksgiving

~ Download Bishop Gary's Thanksgiving Message

Thanksgiving Day is a familiar holiday in Canada, and provides a beautiful opportunity in October to reflect on the gifts and blessings we have received.

A reflection on Thanksgiving for us Christians automatically turns our thoughts to God, and all that God has so graciously bestowed upon us and our families. And what is so beautiful about this secular holiday is that in many ways it draws people of little or no faith to consider where all we have come from.

Thanksgiving is at the heart of our Catholic faith, as each Sunday we gather to celebrate the Holy Eucharist. Eucharistia, the Greek word for thanksgiving, is why we gather, so this Holy Thanksgiving is our source and summit of faith. Above all else we are the people of the Holy Thanksgiving!

Indeed, Thanksgiving Day, and our weekly gathering as a Eucharistic people, breaking the bread and blessing the cup, gives us a share and participation in the very life, death and resurrection of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Two wonderful graces flow from being thankful: indifference is overcome; and the virtue of hope is built up in our soul.

First: overcoming indifference. Thanksgiving brings about a realization that I am not the centre of the universe, that I am dependent and that others, like my family, friends, and colleagues are a big part of who I am. God has provided so much, and when I am thankful, I cannot remain indifferent to God, and I cannot be indifferent to my neighbour, or indeed, all of creation.

Thanksgiving creates in me a heart that is open and appreciative, and able to share with compassion the sorrows and needs of others. Thanksgiving is the beginning of love which overcomes all indifference.

Second: Thanksgiving is a marvellous way to restore and reclaim the grace of hope.

This gift of hope is maybe the virtue most needed today in our society and throughout the world. Daily we learn of the devastation of people’s lives through natural calamities, and also are very aware of the grievous sins against people and societies here at home and abroad. Certainly our own nation’s painful rejection of life and choosing Euthanasia (Medical Assistance in Dying, or MAID) is symptomatic of a much greater ill—a loss of hope.

I will conclude with my own big Thank You to God for allowing me to live here on Vancouver Island, in the Diocese of Victoria. Wow. It is beautiful, the people of God are a joy—and the fishing is great too.

A big Thank You to our priests who faithfully and wonderfully call all of us to the Holy Eucharist (Thanksgiving) every Sunday.

A big Thank You to consecrated Sisters and Brothers who witness to God’s presence in our land.

A big Thank You to the most amazing staff to collaborate with at the Pastoral Centre in helping me shepherd the Diocese.

And a GREAT BIG THANK YOU to the People of God who nourish and accompany one another in the journey of faith and life, especially the poor and vulnerable in our midst.

Thank you.

Most Reverend Gary Gordon
Bishop of Victoria

Last Updated

Feb 2, 2018


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