Thanksgiving Sunday : 2nd October, 2011
All of us have a reason to thank God for the numerous wonders He works in our lives and the countless blessings He showers on each one of us day after day. To help us thank God as a community the archdiocese of Bombay observes the first Sunday of the month of October as Thanksgiving Sunday.
The parishioners of St. Thomas came in large numbers, with their families and sat together in the church as requested by the parish fathers as a family for the Eucharistic celebration at 8.30 am, which was concelebrated by Fr. Henry, Fr. Denzil and Fr. Joe as the main celebrant.
The introduction led the parishioners to understand God’s intervention in our lives as He guides, understands, directs, encourages, inspires, teaches and transforms us through each alphabet of the word ‘GRATITUDE’. These were displayed by different persons, during the introduction and on the beautifully prepared banner in the church.
Fr. Joe in his homily stressed the need for us to thank, praise and bless the Lord, not only on the occasion of THANKSGIVING SUNDAY but each and every day of our lives because each one of us has experienced God’s blessings in our lives in some form or the other. He then asked the congregation to spend a moment of silence and then look at their family members and say a thank you to them. Everyone turning towards the other willingly expressed their gratitude as was evident through the smiles on their faces. Fr. Joe then invited a few parishioners to come forward and share their experiences of God working in their families. Four parishioners willingly came forward and narrated how God works in their lives through one another, how he binds them in love and concern even though some of their members may be away from them for studies or on duty. A non parishioner too came forward enthusiastically to share God’s wonder in his family life. He remarked it was really something wonderful that happened at St. Thomas Church that day. Concluding his homily, Fr. Joe thanked all those who shared and helped others to feel the need to express their gratitude to God. He spoke about the family life Fr. Henry, Fr. Denzil and himself share with one another in the parish. He began his sharing by saying, “Family that Prays together, stays together”. Though coming from varied backgrounds and cultures they bond with one another through prayer, fellowship and service to the community. He requested the people to pray for them.
The Eucharistic celebration proceeded as usual. After the celebration everyone greeted one another and were treated to a piece of cake which provided a truly festive spirit for the day.
Everyone moved homewards to be once again united with one another at around 12.30pm as they prayed together as a family and shared in a meal.
Thanksgiving Sunday enabled us to understand the need to be thankful people throughout our lives.
- Liliya Fernandes