As we heard on Sunday at Mass, life on this earth is a tremendous blessing. Yet, how often do we stop to give thanks? How often do we “make” time to appreciate “the gift of Jesus the Lord” – who opens for us the way to heaven? Especially when we gather around the Table of the Lord, but not only then, the Lord gives us “a taste” of the heavenly joy that awaits us.
As we anticipate this Thursday’s national holiday of Thanksgiving, let us rejoice in God’s many (and varied) gifts and prepare ourselves to celebrate His love.
Homework for this week: Ferdinand Magellan based his charts and maps on the most current information available, and he boldly circumnavigated the world. The Pilgrims who came to this continent trusted their maps and calculations, considered their risks, and sailed off to encounter the “new world.” A few centuries later, in their search for a Northwest Passage, Lewis and Clark set off, crossed the entire continent, and mapped previously unknown territory in the west.
All of these people had at least one thing in common: they all based their momentous journeys on maps that were mostly inaccurate, hopelessly flawed or vastly mistaken. Yet each of them went ahead, accepted the risks, plunged into unknown territories, and changed the world. It is precisely because of their risk-taking that the map of the planet was re-drawn and the dreams of future generations were re-shaped.
An important lesson for us is that those without “vision,” without the courage to take risks, are quick to label others as crazy, crackpots, fools, and failures. If we call ourselves true disciples of the Lord Jesus (and we do!) do we appreciate that we are called to take risks and venture beyond “the known” and the secure – trusting in His grace? Are we grateful for the “vision” He has given us?