The pathways we walk at this time of the year are often strewn with the produce of all the trees that give us shade during the summer months. This week, Thanksgiving week, is a time of remembering all those people and events for which we should be thankful. We have benefited from what these folks or events have provided for us.
A genuine challenge would be to take a little time to think back on those quiet people, those less blessed that you are, those most people don't recognize, who have done something for you during the last year. Wouldn't your Thanksgiving celebration be so much more meaningful?
As a priest, I know that my life has been blessed by so many people who go out of their way to help me in different projects. Likewise I have encounter some who are just "getting by" who leave something for me. Or the young kids that still drop me a hand drawn picture of whatever ... so often an altar or a cross. Also I think of several street people that I used to encounter while living at St. Joseph's Rectory. Each time I would see them there would be not a word of "can you help me?," but words of greeting and wishes for the best of the day. So often I was the recipient of all they had to give! I am so grateful that the Holy Spirit has opened my heart and eyes to see these exchanges of gifts.
This is what Jesus is teaching you and me in today's gospel. These words in Luke 21:1-4 have been the underlying inspiration for so many movies, books and sermons. During the next few days, stop, look and listen: not for a train but for those grace-filled moments, so often happenstance events.