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A Thanksgiving Remembrance

by Rev. Mark Connolly

One of the greatest women in our age of poverty and world starvation was the woman the people of Calcutta called Mother Teresa. Long before the problem of world starvation became conversation, she had established an order of nuns to help the starving people die with dignity. She said that people who have grown up with poverty and starvation hovering around them accept these conditions, not because they want them, but because they know that there is no immediate relief for them in sight. Her whole concept of helping them die with dignity was to have someone around them at their last moment of life who would offer them the feeling that they were part of a family, that even though their life span was running out, they were among friends, and that God whom they couldn't find in this life has not deserted them at their final moment.

In her own life, she did this for over 14,000 people. Her one intention was to make certain that their death should never be taken for granted. They shall die with dignity.

I think, as the Thanksgiving holiday comes upon us, we should remember all the starvation and poverty in the world and remind ourselves that we can never take for granted the things that we have, though we might not have all the things we want.

The thanksgiving season is always a wonderful opportunity for any speaker to remind us that God could have put us on this earth as hopeless cripples, or as victims of some incurable disease, or as deaf and dumb. God didn't. He spared us the tragedies that a large part of the world experiences.

Since we have been spared the tragedies that others accept as commonplace in their lives, we can never run the risk of offending God by taking anyone or anything for granted.

If we are to live with dignity in the sight of God, we can never take our families, our friends, or our faith in God for granted.

When you think of the beautiful life that God has given to so many families, no matter what their crosses are, this feast of thanksgiving should be a reminder to personally reflect on the various members of your own families. Not because of what they do for you, but because of what they are.

You give but little
when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself
that you truly give.

- Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931)

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