VATICAN CITY, NOV. 14, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II invited the faithful celebrating Thanksgiving this month to not only thank God for the fruits of nature, but also to share them with those in need.
Speaking from the window of his study, the Holy Father appeared to be in good health as he addressed farmers and agricultural workers from Italy who celebrate Thanksgiving today. The main celebrations are taking place in Genoa, chosen as this year’s European Capital of Culture.
Thanksgiving is to give thanks to God “for the fruits of the earth harvested during the year,” the Pope said.
“For us, Christians, thanksgiving is expressed fully in the Eucharist,” he said to thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square despite the wind and rain.
“In every Holy Mass, we bless the Lord, God of the universe, presenting to him the bread and wine, ‘fruits of the earth and of the work of man.’ To these simple foods, Christ has united his sacrificial oblation. United to him, believers are also called to offer to God their lives and daily work,” he added.
The Pope concluded by inviting those present “to be grateful to the Lord for all that nature and human effort produce for our sustenance, and make us ready to share our resources with all those who are in need.”