The central purpose of Thanksgiving is to give thanks for our blessings received throughout the year.
The central purpose of the Mass is the Eucharist which comes from the Greek word meaning thanksgiving.
Eucharist, because it is an action of thanksgiving to God. The Greek words eucharistein and eulogein recall the Jewish blessings that proclaim – especially during a meal – God’s works: creation, redemption, and sanctification (CCC1328).
The central event of Thanksgiving is the meal.
The central event of the Mass is the Eucharistic meal of bread and wine transubstantiated into the Body and Blood of Christ, the Lamb of God.
At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us (CCC 1323).
The Thanksgiving meal is a community feast where families and communities gather to share a grand meal in a spirit of thankfulness.
The Eucharistic meal is a community feast where families and communities gather to share a grand meal in a spirit of thankfulness.
Finally, by the Eucharistic celebration we already unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life, when God will be all in all (CCC1326).
The Eucharistic assembly (synaxis), because the Eucharist is celebrated amid the assembly of the faithful, the visible expression of the Church (CCC 1329).
Did you realize Thanksgiving was so Catholic?
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
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