9 Sep

“No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.”  ~ James Allen

I get complimented quite often about how I run the parish that has been entrusted to me.  Whenever people tell me what a wonderful job I am doing, I generally tell them that it is not me.  It is the parish family.  I do my best to enable others to do their work and I also do my best to stay out of their way.  If they need support, I am there for them.  If they need me to stay away, that’s just as fine.  Whatever it takes to get the job done.

I am thinking about that because yesterday we had our annual parish picnic.  The weather tried to dampen the day.  Thank God that the rain we had in the morning stopped and all we had was an on-and-off drizzle.  Several people came up to me and thanked me for the picnic.  Can you imagine that?  Thanked me.

I thanked them for coming and told them that I didn’t do anything for the picnic except show up and eat.  The picnic was run by a very competent chairperson with an equally competent and excited group of volunteers.  They enlisted the aid of others as well (Knights of Columbus and Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts) to do various jobs.  It was a team effort and the team did phenomenal.

I thanked as many people as I could yesterday for what they did and reminded them that, without their help, what we had would not have been able to be accomplished.  I hope that they know my thanks was heartfelt and sincere.

Thanksgiving is so very important.  People need to know that they are appreciated.  People need to know that they are essential.  People need to know that they matter.  I am very grateful to my mother for hammering that into my thick skull at an early age.  She was forever reminding her boys to say thank you to everybody for everything.  She would take us to the store after Christmas to purchase thank you cards and would watch us as we addressed them to those who gave us gifts.  She was a wonderful example of someone who understood the need to be grateful.

Thank you, Mom, for teaching that important quality to me.  Thank you, volunteers one and all, who pulled off a smashing parish picnic.  Thank you to all my parishioners who give so much of their time and talent around the parish.  And thank you to the readers of this Daily Reflection for providing me a reason to hone my thoughts and write them down on a daily basis.

FAITH ACTION:  Make sure that you thank people as you go about your day.  Do not wait to do it “some” day.  Do it today.

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