There is also the dark side of Thanksgiving. The pain that comes from past memories and those created in 2019. When the water is poured into the chalice to mix with the wine, there go your tears of anger, frustration, resentment, bitterness etc. You pour into The Chalice of Suffering your pain and suffering, that which is too much for you to handle by yourself. In this action all of your suffering is now united with the offering of The Suffering Christ to His and our Mercy-full father. What happens when these offerings are made, what is our bread, and wine of tears now becomes The Body and the Blood of The Risen Christ. This is then given to us in The sacrament of The Eucharist for our nourishment and encouragement. We go out rested and renewed, with the exception of parents of "God’s little darlings." I do not know how, but through the sacramental grace of the Sacrament of marriage Our Gracious Creator provides in ways we do not understand. Otherwise, how would families and as a consequence the church survive?
This greater faith community is no more than the sum total of "the little churches of the home." At St. Andrew the Apostle the parish was seen in the following way. First you had the "little church of the home." Then you had, "the neighborhood church." Then you had the gathering of all, in The faith Community of St. Andrew The Apostle. (For more information on St. Andrew’s unique vision read Patrick Brennan’s book "Parishes that excel in America.")
The Thanksgiving meal, for those who are so blessed as to be able to afford one, has special meaning. It is the gathering of relations, some whom are real friends, in a meal like no other meal for its significance. Thanksgiving meals are a sign of something, but each one of us will have to work out what the sign is for our meal. When I looked up the meaning, the definition of sign it contained the following. A sign can be an event whose presence indicates the probable occurrence of something else. We would like to think of the Thanksgiving meal is a meal where welcome and hospitality are the essential ingredients. They are in reality the first course. All that follows are meant to enhance what underlines around the table. The Thanksgiving table is a sacred place. It is the place where we are encountered with something way beyond our human understanding. It is in that real meeting, real encounter with fellow human beings that The Mysterious Presence in revealed to us, and through us to those Our Higher Power will place on out trail.