For plenty from Thy bounteous Hand,
For means to give to those in need,
For faith to walk, our hands in Thine,
For truth to know Thy law divine
For strength to work with voice and pen,
For love to serve our fellow men,
For light the goal ahead to see,
For life to use along for Thee
We thank Thee.
Within this beautiful prayer, we give thanks to our God for all that He has given us on this earth each day….. not just at Thanksgiving time. We realize how blest we are when we realize all that we have has been provided by God. Whether it be the harvest of the lands, the basic needs of human life, the gifts of family and friends, good health, and all those doctors, nurses, and scientists who work constantly to provide good health, and a country full of freedoms and choices. We are truly blest, thanks be to God! As we attend Mass each weekend as well as daily Mass, it would be wonderful to see more people attending Mass on Thanksgiving Day, letting God know how blest we feel for all that He daily provides for us!
On Thanksgiving Day, we will sit down to a beautiful table filled with many of our favorite foods, along with family members and dear friends, and a prayer of Thanksgiving to God for all that He provides. A favorite meditation and prayer that my family and I share each Thanksgiving, and which I shared with my students through the years which brings home the message of faith, hope, and love of God, and the need to be thankful for the little things of every day life which He alone provides and blesses us with. It is called the Legend of the Five Kernels of Corn, which I will now share with you.
“The first winter the Pilgrims spent in their new home, was very cold.
Food was in short supply. Some days they only had enough food
for each person to have five kernels of corn.
But Spring came, they planted food, and it grew.
All of the Pilgrims did not die.
From then on, when a time of Thanksgiving came around,
the Pilgrims put five kernels of corn on each plate and used them
to remind themselves of their blessings.”
May we also do the same to remind us of the gifts of faith, hope, and love from God as we hold up each kernel of corn, which remind us of the gifts of
The autumn beauty around us.
We all see this in God’s creation if we but take the time to look. The words of Shirley Langley bring it to life: “Have you ever stopped to marvel at the wonder of a tree-so tall, and so majestic, firmly rooted, but so free? Have you ever watched a sunset so breathtaking you could cry, or have you tried to count the stars so high up in the sky? Have you watched the lightning flashing , listened to the thunder roll? Have you seen God’s Hand in nature and acknowledged His control? He is seen in all creation!
Bernice Laux continues with, “In flaming sunset glow, in moonlight on the snow, dashing waves upon the shore, I see the Lord and I adore! On purple mountains high, in rainbows in the sky, flowers around my door, I see the Lord I adore! In the birds that fly, and bunnies all so shy, kittens and puppies on the floor, I see the Lord I adore. In pine trees, oh so tall, where raindrops softly fall, where mighty eagles soar, I see the Lord I adore!
The second kernel: Our love for each other.
Not wanting us to be alone in this world, God has blessed us with family and friends. God made each person in His image and likeness, gave each person unique gifts and talents, and through the gift of the Sacrament of Marriage and the gift of new life, He made it possible for families to continue through the years. Let us take time to thank Him for the blessing of our families, our parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters, and all of our relatives who love us, take care of us, share with us, and are always there for us. Let us treasure the memories, the joys, the sorrows through the years!
Let us also give glory and praise to our God for the gift of friends who are there for us, spend time with us, support us in good times as well as the bad, and help us in so many ways. May we take the time to share the gift of friendship with others who may not have a friend so they also may have the gift of friendship.
The third kernel of corn: God’s love and care for us.
Dear Father, we thank You for always providing our daily needs, our daily bread. Thank you for filling us with much faith, hope, and love through Your greatest gift, Jesus. As we gather at our tables each day, and not only on Thanksgiving, may we look at each other and see the very special people you made each one to be out of your love and care. May we come to Your Table of Love, realizing that You are always with us, for where there is love, there is God, and it is the love of God that gathers us together. Alleluia!
Come to the Table of Faith, sharing the Cup of the Lord.
We are united, believing in Jesus, come to the Table of Faith.
Come to the Table of Hope, join in the Banquet of God.
We share together one Spirit in Jesus, come to the Table of Hope.
Come to the Table of Love. Feast on the Bread of the Lord.
We are a family, one body in Jesus, come to the Table of Love.
The fourth kernel: the Gift of our friends.
God has blessed us with the great diversity of life that He has created. He has given us the great opportunity to come to know people from many backgrounds and cultures, and to share with them and learn from them! As varied as the trees, the flowers, the birds, and the foods, so are the people God puts in our lives! “So blessed are the people the Lord has chosen to be His own…so blessed with His life.” Through the teachings of His Son, Jesus, we can reach out to our friends in need, helping them wherever we can. We hear the Commandment of Love, and we understand the words, “Love one another as I have loved you.”
The fifth kernel: We are free people.
We are so blessed to live where we may openly live our faith each day, thanks be to God! We can daily worship our God, walk into His Holy House and attend Mass, Adoration, a special prayer service, light a candle for someone, and of course, pray.
We are free to become the person God made us to be as we grow up in our families, our school family, and our community families. With this comes the freedom of choice as we become older and decide on schools, professions, and homes, and so many other choices we can make! We are free to not only uphold the dignity of life from conception to eternal life in heaven, but also have the courage to speak out and defend the gift that only God can give! Yes, we are free to uphold and live our Catholic Social Teaching where justice and the dignity of all life prevail for all the family of God!
We are free to live in a country that is at peace and also to be peacemakers as true children of God, bringing peace and the love of God to all we meet.
We are free to enjoy all the gifts that God surrounds us with each day…….the song of a bird, a sunrise, the beauty of each new season, the hills, the mountains, the valleys, the majestic land and water forms, the varied animal kingdom, the sun, the moon, the stars of night, and all that God created in this world. We give thanks and praise to God!
I pray that you may each take the time to use this meditation of the Five Kernels of Corn, and as you recite each one, may you find your own personal things to talk about under each one that are apart of your lives, filled with the gifts of Faith, Hope, and Love that God blesses us with, not only at Thanksgiving, but each day of the year! He is there if we but turn to Him and thank Him.
During this month, and not only on Thanksgiving, may we take the time to thank God for all the blessings of His many gifts!
May God’s blessings be with each of you!
Love and Prayers,
Mrs. Judith Rowinski