Editorial: We have much for which to be thankful

Megaphone Staff

As Christmas nears, it is easy to bypass the holiday of Thanksgiving, just as it is easier to forget for the bulk of the year how grateful and thankful each and every one of us ought to be. Many families will plan on gathering for the first time in awhile due to the obstacles Covid-19 has caused over the past two years, and so as the Cathedral family disperses for the holiday, it is important to keep in mind the significance Thanksgiving holds for the Christian community and that of many other cultures as well.

Although the original and oft-told Thanksgiving story, in which colonists from the Mayflower and Native Americans showed gestures of connection and friendship has many factual details, the idea of having gratitude goes much deeper for Christians, as well as many other religions and communities, too. Being a school built on the Catholic faith, it is an integral part of Cathedral to encourage her students in their relationships with God, and a huge part of that revolves around recognizing the free gift of salvation offered by Christ and being grateful for it. 

Since the creation of the world, God has called his people to show thankfulness and praise for his blessings, and this is shown through prayer as well as the reciprocation and sharing of the blessings received.

This element, the idea of coming together to share the fortunes and good will that has been given to us, has been present in America since the first colonists, but many other nations have long held celebrations at different times of the year for similar reasons. Cathedral represents many diverse backgrounds, and so for Catholics and Christians, there is a deep religious presence in Thanksgiving; however, the United States and much of the rest of the world has adopted the celebration, or had its own similar holidays for a while

Nations ranging from Germany to Rwanda to Japan all celebrate similar holidays. Thanksgiving in Japan, celebrated on Nov. 23, builds off of the American holiday while including much influence from the ancient Shinto harvest ceremony, whereas in Germany the Christian (and Thanksgiving-esque) celebration of Erntedankfest takes place on the first Sunday of October. The celebration and gratitude for blessings has been around in many cultures across the world for far longer than the founding of America, and so it is always important to be cognizant and respect each culture’s traditions and ways of celebrating such a topic.

Nevertheless, the chance Cathedral gets to bring its students together 180 days a year to learn and grow in their faiths is all owed to the support and faithfulness God has shown to our school. From the days of being on Meridian Street starting in 1918 now to up on The Hill, the Irish have much to be grateful for, from graduations to school achievements to State championships. The ability to worship in school freely is also a gift that should never be taken for granted, and so one of the best ways to honor this is by reminding ourselves of the ever-present love we with which we have been showered.

As the time nears for the students and faculty of Cathedral to take a break, and the pumpkin pie and stuffing are shared, it’s further important to remember the livelihoods of others outside our gatherings. All around the globe, some get a chance to celebrate this holiday in the name of Christ, some choose not to, and some are restricted from doing so, and quite sadly, most do not have anything many would feel the desire to be grateful for. The best gift we have been given outside that of Christ’s saving grace is the chance to further our relationships with our Heavenly Father, and so this Thanksgiving, remember and pray for those who haven’t come to know Him, and use this as an opportunity to actively show gratitude by being a light for those around you.