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I plan Thanksgiving dinner with leftovers in mind. Not only do we enjoy the variations in the days that follow (deviled eggs for breakfast, turkey and lefse sandwiches, potato pancakes), I also enjoy sending guests home with their own leftovers, so they can indulge the next day as well.

As I started to pack up leftovers following dinner Thursday, I decided to give thanks for a blessing with each slice or scoop. Spooning potatoes, I gave thanks for the fact that we had more than enough food to go around and a safe place in which to eat. With the cranberries, I gave thanks for the family and friends who had joined us and for those who were far away. Picking the turkey was accompanied by a torrent of thanks for moments God has held us close in the past year. By the time everything was wrapped or boxed or bagged, I had an impressive stack of Tupperware and an even more impressive list of blessings still to tally.

God’s bounty is so profound and His generosity so constant that we can lose track of everything He does. We take it for granted. Worse, we become greedy, wanting even more. Or we become stingy, wanting Him to give to us instead of giving to others.

God’s gifts are meant to be shared: He commands us to love each other, to teach each other, to care for each other. How dare we fear that He will not give us enough for ourselves and for our neighbor? When we hoard His blessings of peace, faith, and love, we doubt His love. When we share His gifts, we multiply them and we draw new saints into our communion.

Let us not be selfish with our gifts. Let us share them freely and boldly. Even our leftovers, through the miraculous love of God, will feed the poor spirits and hungry hearts around us. None of us will hunger, and all will be renewed and redeemed through the grace of our loving Lord.

“He replied, ‘It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.’ ‘Yes it is, Lord,’ she said. ‘Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.’ Then Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.’ And her daughter was healed at that moment.”
Matthew 15:26-28