The United States is one of the worlds few countries to have established a national day in which to give thanks to God for all He has given us. This day may have become a purely secular excuse, for some, to over eat, but for the serious Christian it is still be a time for giving thanks.
When Saint Tikhon of Moscow was serving as Archbishop of San Francisco, he arranged a Thanksgiving Moleben service for the eve of the American Thanksgiving. This great hierarch was deeply moved that his adopted country had set aside this day as a national day of thanksgiving.
Sometimes we forget that being thankful for all the blessings we've received from God is not about our attachment to things. We may be grateful for our nice house, good job, the abundance of good food, our friends and family, and a myriad of other things, but our gratefulness should not be focused on material things.
If we’ve become too attached to these blessings, true gratitude will not endure, for we will begin to think we could not possibly be happy without these things. We could even begin to think that gratitude to God is impossible, unless we continue to be bless with all these things. We could even entertain fearfulness at the possibility of losing what we think makes us happy.
The real treasure that must be received with gratitude is not material, or even relational in nature, but that which is eternal. Our faith is the greatest treasure we have, and the utmost reason for us to give thanks to God. As a nation, our forefathers knew that although we never established a State Church, we nevertheless, as a people, had declared from the very conception of our great nation, that we are a people, under God, blessed with freedom, and abundance, and that all of this has come to us from a God Who loves us.
Because of this, we as a nation, like the great Patriarch Saint Tikhon, can rejoice that we live in a country that has set aside a day for the collective gathering of families, and faith communities, to thank the Lord of Lights, for all He has given us.
With love in Christ,
As an aside, please don't let yourself be tempted to shop at Walmart, Pizza Hut, or any other business that is open today. You can always get your bargains on Black Friday, but don't contribute to the greed of corporations and businesses that would make their employees work on Thanksgiving.
There are too few holidays that allow families and friends to be together, so why be responsible for someone's mom or dad, brother or sister, husband or wife, son or daughter, to have to leave family on Thanksgiving Day, because their bosses have demanded they work.
Meanwhile, please have a happy Thanksgiving, enjoy your family and guests, and don't eat too much!
With love and blessings,
Thursday November 28, 2013 / November 15, 2013
23rd Week after Pentecost. Tone five.
The National Day of Thanksgiving
Holy Martyrs and Confessors Gurias (299), Samonas (306), and Abibus (322), of Edessa.
Venerable Paisius (Velichkovsky) of Moldavia and Mt. Athos (1794).
New Hieromartyrs Nicholas and Peter priests, Gregory and Nicitas deacons (1937).
Martyrs Elpidius, Marcellus, and Eustochius, who suffered under Julian the Apostate (361).
Martyr Demetrius of Thrace (307).
"Kupyatich" Icon (1180) of the Most Holy Theotokos.
Venerable Philip, abbot of Rabang (Vologda) (1457).
St. Quinctian, bishop of Seleucia (4th c.).
St. Thomas the New, patriarch of Constantinople (665-668) (Greek).
Repose of St. Herman, wonderworker of Alaska (1836).
You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.
THANKS to all of you who have been able to contribute towards the support of the monastery. These difficult times of economic hardship have impacted the monastery, and those of you who have been able to donate, have been our lifeline. May God bless you for your generosity, and kindness.
With love in Christ,
Donations can be made directly to the monastery through PayPal, or you may send donations to:
All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
PO Box 2420
Vashon Island, WA 98070-2420 USA
The Scripture Readings for the Day
1 Thessalonians 2:9-14
10 You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe; 11 as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, 12 that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.
Their Conversion13 For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe. 14 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans,
The Parable of the Unjust Steward16 He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. 2 So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’
3 “Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’
5 “So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8 So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.
9 “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home.
Abbot Tryphon's Thanksgiving Podcast