Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Giving thanks in all circumstances

The following reflection comes from Jennifer Hubbard, a contributing writer for The Magnificat

I tilt my chin to the sky, allowing the sun’s warmth to reach the depths of my soul grateful for God’s light. I cherish the sounds and absorb the beauty that surrounds me grateful for God’s creation. There was a time when I thought this was the ultimate expression of gratitude, and thankfulness came easily. I could not understand how one could sing praises of gratitude when life choked and weighed heavy on one’s shoulders. And then the unthinkable happened, and all I could do was sit in the pew and absorb the words. Only then, when my world was crushed, did I really listen to the words I had prayed my whole life. When I truly heard the words, everything changed.

I bow my head as the priest says, “Giving you thanks, he broke the bread and gave it to his disciples.” The magnitude of what is happening convicts me Jesus is preparing to be beaten and bruised and nailed to a cross, and still he gives thanks. In his giving thanks Jesus shows me why it is truly “our duty and our salvation”. In this moment I see it is not about for what I give thanks, but in all circumstances give thanks (1 Thes 5:18).

In everything give thanks, confident in his faithfulness and love, desiring only that his will be done. In everything give thanks, walking with certainty that the messy, scary, and lonely will serve his purpose. In everything give thanks, acting with assurance that he will make beauty from the ashes. When I am deflated, exhausted, and frail, I reach for his hand and I am carried. When I stray he redirects me. It is in these moments that I am left with a deep sense of gratitude, and sing his praises that my suffering is not in vain. I bow deeply in thanksgiving and confidence that the cross I bear makes way for his will to be done.

- Jennifer Hubbard, who resides in Newtown, CT, writes this reflection entitled: Thanksgiving Day. The younger of her two children, Catherine Violet, was a victim of the Sandy River Elementary School shooting in December 2012.

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