November 19, 2017

Friends,

On behalf of the staff of the Blue Hills Collaborative, Fr. Charles and I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday (holy day). I strongly encourage you to join us this Thursday, November 23 at our morning masses, either at 7:30 am (St. Anne) or 9 am (Most Precious Blood). I’m convinced that our own prayers of Thanksgiving are not in response to God’s needs, but surely express our need. For some, religion or spirituality is about their personal relationship with God or God’s Son and they have no great need to celebrate within a community. For Catholics, however, it is about how our relationship with God challenges us and invites us into community. It is within the community that we most experience God’s presence. Therefore giving thanks takes on a greater meaning when it is expressed in a faith community among other believers.

I would love to see our churches full on Thanksgiving as they are on Christmas and Easter, but because it is not on a Sunday or a declared holiday, Catholics are not as determined to get to a church. 

So what am I thankful for in 2017? I am grateful for those in my life who love me unconditionally. I think it is natural to put expectations (consciously or unconsciously) on those we love. When you realize that someone’s love is a gift and comes with no qualifications, it really convinces you that you are worthy of that love just as you are.

I am grateful for the gift of faith and how my faith evolves and constantly renews my desire to learn more about who God truly is. If I still believed I knew all there was to know about God, my spiritual life would be stagnant and there would be no passion when I preached. God’s Spirit has not allowed that to happen in my life and because of that, my vocation is as energized today as it was on the day of my ordination.

I am grateful also for my good health. I have been blessed with a lot of energy and my health has contributed to my ability to live life to its fullest. I know how many people experience chronic pain and the toll it can take on their outlook. I look forward to getting up each day and, despite the normal aches and pains, being able to accomplish my goals and plan for the future without a second thought to the physical ability to fulfill my dreams.

Why not be the one to suggest saying grace before your meal on Thursday? How sad to think many of us would be embarrassed to even bring up the subject in front of those we love.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Fr. Coyne

 

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