S+L logo

Thanksgiving: Ours and Theirs

October 19, 2014
FMP blog
Photo Credit: CNS
frmikepic
Fr. Mike Pace
Home for the holiday. Doors flung open as family gathers from near and far. A moment to thank God for the blessings of the past year.
Imagine the place you call home is Aleppo, Syria. Every family, including yours, has a member who has been raped, or martyred or broken by the psychological, material, and emotional strain of a three-year and seemingly endless war. As we in Toronto bask in the afterglow of the bounty we call Thanksgiving weekend, many of our brothers and sisters in the Middle East and elsewhere hope for at least some of the crumbs that fall from our tables.
door
On Thanksgiving weekend, I was disturbed by the testimony of Munir, a Salesian priest from Aleppo who risks his life as the provincial superior of St. John Bosco's mission in Syria, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq and Turkey. While we at home were asking ourselves whether to indulge in dark meat or white, a slice of baked ham or a second  helping of pumpkin pie, the young people he holds near to his heart were wrestling with questions of a different magnitude. Does God still exist? Does he care about our suffering? Has the rest of the world forgotten about us? Why are the world's legitimate   powers so ineffective in responding to our plight, while so many unscrupulous forces wreak torturous havoc  on us so effectively?
To our brothers and sisters in Aleppo and elsewhere, the blessings of God seem to lie beyond a door which is open to us but closed to them.  Thanksgiving requires that we who sit at laden tables get up and open these doors and invite them in. How will I do that? How will you?
Written by Father Michael Pace SDB, Pastor, guest blogger. 

Related posts

My Salt + Light Treasure Box
FacebookTwitter
Mary Rose Bacani Valenti, Salt + Light producer from 2003 to 2011, recalls her experience of working at a fledgling Catholic TV station. ...read more
In this #TFImoment, Sr. Beth Davies recounts how Pope Francis' meeting with people suffering from Huntington’s disease inspired her to greater compassion. ...read more
Get ready for the World Meeting of Families in Dublin, Ireland, this August! Check out the official hymn and music video here. ...read more
"What I’m Reading" Wednesday: <br>Room 24: Adventures of a New Evangelist
FacebookTwitter
Read Allyson Kenny's review of "Room 24: Adventures of a New Evangelist," Katie Prejean McGrady's memoir of teaching religion in an American school. ...read more
The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development has released a video summarizing the outcomes of the International Laudato Si' Conference (July 5-6). ...read more