God of light and life's creation,
reigning over all supreme,
daunting our imagination,
prospect glorious yet unseen:
Lord, whom earth and heaven obey,
turn towards this house today!
God of justice in our nation,
Fearing neither rich nor strong,
Granting truth its vidication,
Passing sentence on all wrong:
Lord, by whom we die or live,
Hear, and as you hear, forgive.
God the Father, Son, and Spirit,
Trinity of love and grace,
Through your mercy we inherit
Word and worship in this place:
Let our children all their days
To this house return with praise!*
I encountered this hymn for the first time this morning during my morning prayers and thought it sums up the prayers we are presenting to the Lord during these forty days. And then I read a meditation by Fr. Richard Veras in the magazine, Magnificat and wanted to share a portion of it as well:
"Our sense of our unworthiness is not something to shun or ignore or get over. It is the very thing that allows us to experience wonder before the unimaginable gratuitousness of God. A culture that convinces us that we are the ones who independently make things happen in our lives and we are the ones who deserve all the credit for our accomplishments is a culture that attempts to rob us of God by eclipsing him behind our self-afirmation.
"This Thanksgiving let us go even deeper into the awareness that Someone is loving us. Let us be thankful for the very fact that we are chosen: chosen to exist, chosen to be baptized, chosen to know Christ in our lives. Why should God have chosen us? The less able we are to answer that question the more able we are to live a profoundly joyful thanksgiving."
I do not think it a coincidence that so many came to this land seeking a place to worship God in holiness and righteousness, to worship God in peace. I believe that that desire and our living out of it, even in slipshod, inept fashion as is often the case, have, along with the rule of law, made this the land it is: this is not Latin America. Yes there is poverty here but not the sort that is found just south of our borders. One of the greatest mistakes Americans make is to romanticize Latin America. There is great beauty in those countries but also great institutionalized corruptions and extreme, habitual cruelty. America is unique and we can either give thanks to God for His great gift - or not.
May God bless us all and teach us all to love Him and give Him the praise, honour and gratitude due Him. Have a blessed Thanksgiving day.
* © Michael A. Perry