By Ivonne Hernandez
“Thanksgiving is the soul's most delightful act of love as also the most pleasing to God; it is a perfect homage to His infinite goodness. The Eucharist itself is perfect thanksgiving. The word Eucharist means thanksgiving. Jesus Eucharistic renders thanks to His Father for us; He is our own thanksgiving.”  - St. Peter Julian Eymard
One of the first things parents teach their children is to say ‘Thank you’. Good parents know that teaching their children gratitude is very important. It is right and just to give thanks when someone has done something good for us, especially if they have gone out of their way for us. An attitude of gratitude makes us happier people. It makes us look out of ourselves and realize we can’t make it on our own. We need others, and, most of all, we need God, who is the source of every blessing. “Thanksgiving is the soul's most delightful act of love as also the most pleasing to God.”
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday to celebrate. When I was growing up we would always go to my grandmother’s house and I looked forward to sitting around the table with the whole family and eating some of my favorite foods. I didn’t learn to cook any of those foods, though, since everything was ready by the time we got there. The table was set before us and the delicious food would just appear in front of us. I don’t think I ever thanked my grandma for all the hours she spent in the kitchen out of love for her family. I just didn’t know. It wasn’t until after I got married and cooked my first Thanksgiving meal (with recipes from a cookbook) that I realized how much work and time it takes to prepare. But now, when I am the one spending hours in the kitchen preparing a feast for my family, I think of my grandma and I give thanks to God for all His goodness. My gratitude grew as my understanding of the sacrifice offered for me grew.
“Thanksgiving characterizes the prayer of the Church which, in celebrating the Eucharist, reveals and becomes more fully what she is.” (CCC, 2637) We are invited to the table. If we only knew! If we knew with what love was that meal prepared, if we understood the magnitude of the sacrifice, our hearts would live in Thanksgiving. Our hearts would live united to the heart of Jesus in the Eucharist, who is “our own thanksgiving.” In celebrating the Eucharist we turn our hearts to God. We realize that it is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give God thanks. 
“You set a table before me in front of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Indeed, goodness and mercy will pursue me all the days of my life;
I will dwell in the house of the LORD for endless days.” (Psalm 23:5-6)
 Eymard, St Peter Julian. The Real Presence (p. 21). Veritatis Splendor Publications. Kindle Edition.
 Common Preface I, http://www.universalis.com/static/mass/orderofmass.htm
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We are Ivonne J. Hernandez, Rick Hernandez and Laura Worhacz, Lay Associates of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, and brothers and sisters in Christ.
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