In a message sent on Thanksgiving Day, the Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan of the Americas, Nicolae Condrea, underlined the connection between this American national holiday and the feast of The Entry of the Most Holy Mother of God into the Temple.
Every year, the American National Holiday, Thanksgiving, being established on the 4th Thursday of November, is close to the royal feast of the Entrance into the Temple of the Mother of God. The thanks we bring to God on this national holiday can be understood by considering the feast dedicated to the Mother of God.
The Troparion of the feast already announces the joy of the feast as the prelude of the coming of the salvation of men in Christ: “Today is the prelude of God’s generosity, the herald of the coming of salvation for all mankind. In the temple of God, the Virgin is revealed to all, her presence foretelling the coming of Christ. With all our hearts let us, therefore, cry out to her: Rejoice, O Fulfillment of the Creator’s plan.”
Let us remember that Joachim and Anna were God-fearing people who respected the guidance of the Old Law, but did not have children, which according to the beliefs of the Judean people meant that God did not look favorably upon their family.
God chose these righteous and faithful people to be “the prelude of God’s generosity” because they had promised that should God bless them with a child, they would offer this child for service in the Temple, for service to God.
Through the fulfillment of this promise not only was the blessing of God poured upon them, but the gift which they received from God became a gift to the entire creation. God had turned His face toward them, but also toward the entire human race. By fulfilling the promise, they showed their thanksgiving for the gift received from God.
It is appropriate for all those who are faithful to be thankful; all of us who believe in God the Creator, Protector, and Savior. It is appropriate to be thankful today as we celebrate the national holiday of Thanksgiving.
It is appropriate to set aside for ourselves a moment of reflection and thanksgiving. Reflect on the history of the American colonists who fought for a land of liberty and wellbeing. Likewise, reflect on the history which followed since that time, a history that has shaped this longing of the first colonists for religious freedom.
Our reflection is made complete through thanksgiving. We thank God for his benefits poured out on the forerunners, but also on us, wanting to discern, in this time of trial, God’s order for each of us and for all of us, Christian communities spread across the American land!
Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!
Tr by mitropolia.us
Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro / Mircea Florescu