In today’s Scripture Readings for Thanksgiving, Sirach mentions four items that God bestows upon those who offer thanksgiving:
- Joy of the heart
- Peace among the people with whom you share a relationship
- Gifts to those from Israel (Israel meaning “those who have struggled or ‘wrestled with’ God.” Nobody I know at St. Monica parish …. yeah, right)
- Deliverance from your struggles with evil and sin.
The Native American, Squanto, told the Pilgrims from Plymouth to place a fish in the ground along with the seeds when they planted to add nutrients to the soil so that the fruit and vegetable plants would grow better. Initially this advice must have seen rather strange to the European settlers but Squanto, based on his experience, knew what was needed by the people with whom he had developed a relationship.
Is this not usual when we consider our own relationship with God? The gifts that we receive might not necessarily be gifts that we would expect, or even ask for. But, for God in His wisdom, He bestows them upon us because He knows that they are the gifts that we need.
And the only requirement to receive such gifts – is to offer God thanks.