Dear Parishioners and Friends,
We give thanks for God’s provision this week. But outside the swirl of preparation and feasting, let’s take a moment to consider God’s Providence. The Pilgrims would have died were it not for a Catholic Indian who could speak English.The pilgrims were facing starvation. Were they giving thanks then, with winter on the way? Perhaps not in every prayer, but I’m sure they gave thanks in some of them. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Phil. 4:6). As we give thanks for what God has already done, we have more faith that he will provide for our current needs.
Enter Tisquantum–known to us in grade school as “Squanto.” Squanto was taken from his homeland and sold as a slave in Spain. Perhaps he wasn’t giving thanks then. But some Franciscans rescued him, baptized him, and catechized him. He later went to London, and after learning English, he returned to his native shores. He found his entire Patuxet tribe gone, however–wiped out from disease.
But there was Providence in those circumstances. Because Squanto was sold to slavery, he still lived. And, he had an opportunity to leave a legacy. When he taught the Pilgrims how to live off the land, he saved a people, and their story lives on in our national memory.
In Christ, there’s a downpayment for our deliverance. We encounter true crosses in a fallen world, but nothing is beyond the reach of God’s redemption (Rom 8:28). What grievous circumstances were turned to good in your life? Let’s give thanks for basic provision this week, but all the more for the gracious Providence that enables God’s people to go forward. Then, as St. Paul said, we’ll receive God’s peace (Phil 4:7).