In our Catholic faith, the center of what we do is the Eucharist. Many times, when Catholics hear the term “Eucharist,” they think about the Body and Blood of Christ that is received at Mass. And while that is true, the consecrated species are properly referred to as “the Eucharist.” The primary and first meaning of the term “Eucharist” in our Catholic faith is a reference to the Mass...the entire Mass—from beginning to end.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “The Eucharist is a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Father, a blessing by which the Church expresses her gratitude to God for all his benefits, for all that he has accomplished through creation, redemption, and sanctification. Eucharist means first of all ‘thanksgiving.’” (1360).
It is very tempting for us to attend mass on Sundays and expect to “get something” out of Mass. While it is true that we do receive at Mass, we should enter into each celebration of the Eucharist with an attitude that the reason for coming is to give thanks to God, to give God my gratitude for his love, his mercy, his peace, and his
So as we prepare for the American celebration of Thanksgiving, it is only proper that we, as Catholics, recognize the importance of giving thanks to God every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation.
Fr. Nels Gjengdahl