November 24, 2021
Yesterday, Guerin Catholic High School celebrated Mass as a community, followed by the annual Because We Are Grateful (BWAG) program. The students and staff collected items needed by various charitable organizations, and the program served as the culmination of those efforts. Some reflections on gratitude were shared by students and teachers, and the items collected were loaded onto trucks for delivery to the organizations served.
I was honored to offer the homily at our BWAG Mass. Here is a summary of that homily:
I once watched parents send their two children off on a mission trip. Mom gave each child a hug and told them how much she loved them. Dad waved as they ran off to get on the bus.
“You didn’t even tell them you loved them!” Mom said with a surprised look on her face.
“They know I love them,” her husband replied.
Then the mom said something that really stuck with me: “Saying, ‘I love you’ to them is not only for them. It reminds you what it means to love them, the responsibility that comes along with it.”
In other words, they aren’t simply words of affection. They serve as a call to action. There are things we need to do to reflect the love we have for our children. That’s a beautiful way to think about those words.
The same is true when we say, “Thank you!” to God. God doesn’t need our thanks, but it is important that we voice our gratitude for a number of reasons:
*It reminds us how blessed we are.
*It humbles us. By saying, “Thank you!” we acknowledge that God is the source of all of our gifts and blessings.
*It calls us to action: What should my gratitude look like?
It should look like this (gesturing to all of the donations collected for the charitable organizations). We pay it forward. As I am blessed so shall I bless others. It is the ultimate expression of gratitude.
That said, Thanksgiving is not just one day or one program at school. Gratitude should be a constant in our lives and call us to action daily.
May you always be grateful and express that gratitude by both your words and your actions.