Today on the United States we celebrate Thanksgiving. I was never familiar with this celebration until I became a member of the US Province of the Missionary Oblates eight years ago. I have learnt that it is a beautiful moment to stop, take stock and give thanks to God for the blessings of the previous year. Its historical origin was the end of the harvest and giving thanks to God for the fruits of the earth. I invite you, who are outside of the US, to join in the spirit of this Thanksgiving today.
2020 – what is there to be thankful for? A pandemic, illness, death, fear, confusion caused by political situations, economic uncertainty, hunger… Thanksgiving???
Yes, gratitude! In the midst of so much darkness I invite you to be grateful for St Eugene and his charism that has given birth to the Mazenodian Family. Let’s join him in the gratitude that he expressed at the end of his long and fruitful life. The Oblates were the first fruits of what was to become his universal charismatic family:
Be sure to tell them that I die happy… that I die happy that God was so good as to choose me to found the Congregation of the Oblates in the Church.
(Quoted by J. Fabre, Circular letter 1861)
Through the example of his life and of his teaching, St Eugene shows us how to keep focused on God as the only unshakable foundation that will never disappear.
To keep focused on Jesus our Savior as our light, our pilot, our shepherd who never abandons us.
I am grateful that the spirit of Eugene continues to accompany us so that in the darkness of the pandemic we can focus on the power of the resurrection that no pandemic can eliminate:
If we bear in our body the death of Jesus, it is with the hope that the life of Jesus, too, may be seen in our body (cf. 2 Cor 4:10). Through the eyes of our crucified Saviour we see the world which he redeemed with his blood, desiring that those in whom he continues to suffer will know also the power of his resurrection (cf. Phil 3: 10).
OMI Constitutions and Rules, Constitution 4
Today I am grateful for the Mazenodian Family and for the opportunity I have each day to reflect on the words of Eugene and to share this with you in our “St Eugene de Mazenod Speaks.” I am grateful for the technology that makes it possible and that keeps us connected.
2020 – what is there to be thankful for? Plenty! Today I give thanks in a special way for the gift of each one of you and our connection in this daily St Eugene reflection. Thanks to God, thanks to Eugene and thanks to YOU!