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Bishop Libasci's Thanksgiving Message 2016

November 24, 2016

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Thanksgiving Day was inaugurated as, and remains, a secular national holiday that not only allows but expects us, as citizens, to bow our heads in prayer. This gesture of humility demonstrates our reliance on and gratitude for the gifts of Almighty God whose hand created and guides the unfolding course of life.

Thanksgiving remains a day of national reverence on which we, as citizens, are not only allowed but expected to be generous to the poor and welcoming to the stranger among us. It is a day that not only allows but encourages us as citizens to respond to Jesus’ two Great Commandments: to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

At its heart our nation can be a holy nation; a people set apart. We can be the beacon that shines on a hill; indeed, many times we do stand as a shining example. We have the resources and the capacity to bow our heads with a nobility that reflects the very best of who we are and what we represent. Therefore we ought to take this Thanksgiving Day to commit ourselves to this image of our best selves as citizens.

My prayer for this cause is taken from a very beautiful Jewish prayer, a people who were directed by God to remember the poor and the alien by recalling that they too were once strangers in a foreign land:

“Praised be Thou, Oh Lord, King of the universe, for you have brought us into being, given us life, and sustained us to this very hour. Amen.”

So let us give thanks in word, in thought, and most assuredly, in good, life-giving deeds.

Sincerely in Christ,

Most Reverend Peter A. Libasci

Bishop of Manchester