Standing at my assigned spot, I quickly became aware of the response by those in line.
Nearly everyone I encountered expressed a heartfelt acknowledgement of my presence and gratitude for the food that I was serving.
Afterwards, while I was running an errand at the mall, I found myself more deeply aware of the interactions taking place all around me.
I was amazed at the number of people who didn’t acknowledged my presence or respond with any form of gratitude for any of my actions (like opening the door for someone, inviting someone to go in front me).
The distinction between these two situations could not have been more stark.
One of the things I appreciate about Jesus’ interactions is how present he is to those around him. Even with those he finds most challenging, Jesus appears to be completely present. When we are truly present to one another, we are expressing a level of respect and gratitude for each other. Likewise, when we pay attention to, and show our appreciation for, the actions of others, we show both respect and gratitude.
On this, the week of Thanksgiving, my invitation for all of us is to follow the Way of Jesus more and more deeply as we acknowledge and appreciate all of God’s Beloved.