Jesus is the “Messiah,” a word in Hebrew that means “anointed one,” which is translated as “Christ” in the Greek language. Jesus is the “Christ” for he was anointed by the Holy Spirit at his Baptism, not because he needed baptism to remove original sin, but rather to make the waters of baptism holy for us. We see another dimension of God‟s humility, for he used an imperfect man, John the Baptist, so that all his disciples would follow him through the waters of baptism by the hands of an imperfect man, the priest or other authentic minister who baptizes using the cor-rect formula, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
When we celebrate the Holy Mass, the Holy Eucharist, we celebrate Jesus as the King of kings, Perfect priest and offering, and Perfect prophet of God Almighty, in whom we have been baptized. We share in those three roles when we devoutly live our Catholic faith. Jesus works through us to bring about the forgiveness of venial sins (and mortal sins in the confessional) at Holy Mass to reorder our lives back to God‟s glory, which unites us more and more to God and one another through the saving truth and grace of Jesus Christ, fully found in the Holy Eucharist.
The very word “Eucharist” comes from the Greek word meaning “thanksgiving,” and we who are grow-ing in faith grow in giving “thanks to God.” By receiving Jesus in his word and sacraments with grateful, worthy and humble hearts, God is bringing to perfection his uniting and purifying love within our soul and the souls of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
In today‟s gospel of St. Matthew, we read how Jesus Christ gave to his servants some talents “each according to his ability.” The servant who received five talents was industrious and when the Master “came back and settled accounts with them,” was able to say, „Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.‟ His master said to him, „Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share you master‟s joy.‟”
The servant who received two talents invested and made two more and had the same conversation. But the servant who received one talent, and buried it, said “‟Master, I knew you were a demanding per-son, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.‟” His master said, “‟You wicked, lazy servant! …. Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could get it back with interest on my return? Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And throw
this useless servant into the darkness out-side, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.‟” Cf. Mt. 25:14-30.
What is the one talent that we all receive from God? It is the coin of “free will” on one side of the coin, and “faith” on the other side, whereby we can invest in the Lord‟s mission by choosing to follow Jesus Christ, divine head of the Catholic Church, or not. The more we share our “faith,” the more freedom (free will) we have to love God and our neighbor which makes us wealthy in God‟s plan of salvation.
By offering up our works of faith, hope and love to God through and with Jesus Christ and his priest at Sunday Mass, we and our works are purified and we grow rich! For this reason we are so thankful!
I look forward to celebrating Holy Mass, the Holy Eucharist, with you and your family, especially on Sundays and other holy days of obligation. Thanksgiving Day is a National Holiday, and not a holy day of obligation, but I will celebrate Holy Mass at St. Columbkill, Thur., Nov. 23, 7:45AM. (No Adoration or Confession scheduled that day.)
I also invite you to an Ecumenical Thanksgiving Prayer Service with St. Luke Lutheran Church beginning at 7:00PM on the evening before, Wed. Nov. 22 at Holy Trinity. We will be collecting nonperishable food items and a monetary collection for the Zumbrota Food shelf that evening.
It is through Jesus Christ, our Eucharistic Lord, that we receive the supernatural gift of God‟s saving grace, and the natural gifts of good food, health, family and friends which makes our journey to heaven a time of great thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Peace in Christ, Fr. Thomas McCabe