Tess is a Sophomore at Visitation High School and a Second Year Peer Minister
On the 4th Thursday in November, people all around the country will be celebrating the annual holiday of Thanksgiving. In Greek, the word Thanksgiving means Eucharist. Not only do we eat the Eucharist at mass, but it also symbolizes the mystery and salvation of Christ in his Death and Resurrection being accomplished when we eat it.
The Eucharist and Thanksgiving are related not only by the exact meaning of the words, but also in their spiritual meaning. Eating the Eucharist symbolizes letting Jesus come into your body and if you let Him, your soul. Jesus died for us on the cross and eating His body and drinking His blood is a beautiful notion of thanks for what He’s done for us.
Thanksgiving dinner is a celebration that so many people around the US are blessed to be able to feast at! From the turkey and mashed potatoes to the cranberry sauce and hopefully pumpkin pie, thanksgiving is a time where people can express gratitude to one another and acknowledge the sacrifices people have done for each other. This year, my extended family is not gathering for a dinner feast but I am going to make sure I talk to them none-the-less to tell them how much I love them! Many of us haven’t seen extended family in quite some time and the zoom calls (especially from school) can seem even overused now. But thanking people for their sacrifices and love they have given you makes a huge deal. Just last week a friend of mine who I’m not even super close with but still know pretty well wrote me a quick card saying thank you to me for always giving her a piece of gum, and it made my whole day!!
Small tokens of gratitude to people are really noticed and especially this time of year it’s the perfect time to express them! Jesus died because He loved us so much so let us love others, and in that way, love Him in return.
Happy Thanksgiving and God bless!
Bridgid is a Senior at Hopkins High School and a four year Peer Minister
Wherever I go I always get asked the classic questions, “where do you go to school?” followed by, “what grade are you in?”. When I say I’m a senior, I always get the inevitable question, “what’s that like?”. It’s a fair question, this is a time that only the class of 2021 will hopefully ever experience. Last year's seniors lost their last three months but we haven’t had any months yet, and things are not looking up. But the question is really hard to answer because, let’s be honest, there’s a lot going on. Not only is there COVID-19, but we’re also addressing systemic racism, and dealing with our climate quickly deteriorating. Basically, we’re watching our world fall apart all around us and when we hear people tell us that we’re the future, it only adds to my generation’s notion that it’s up to us to fix all this.
There are definitely a lot of parts that suck and make me feel hopeless and really frustrated. Obviously, losing my senior year and all the traditions and privileges that come with it is a pretty big one for me. I have been looking forward to this year for twelve years now, and working really hard to get here. And in six months, everything I dreamed it would be is gone. We don’t get pep fests, football games, or have the teachers that we’ve been waiting to have. And we’re the only class that will probably never get a chance at prom, which I personally am not sad about but many of my friends are.
My friends and I don’t get to see each other as much as we would like because my school is all online so I don’t see them every day like I would normally, and when we do it’s mostly socially distant and outside which is getting harder the colder it gets. More importantly however, in these past few months, I’ve seen a lot happening around Minneapolis that is really shocking. Not only seeing the police brutality but also the lack of justice with the response to it was really upsetting and frustrating, especially when it continued to happen in other places around the country. However the retaliation from the people has been encouraging.
I’ve been hearing all over that this is a time for us to come together, and I have seen a lot of that recently. After the murder of George Floyd, I took part in the protests. Being with all those people and marching together is such an empowering experience. Everyone around you has the same goal and attitude that you do, and it feels so good to actually be taking action and being a part of something bigger than yourself. It’s especially awesome when it’s a youth led protest, like the many climate change marches, as well as the anti gun violence march, that I attended. It’s really inspiring to be a part of a generation that is really politically active and prone to taking action, even when most of us can’t even vote. That kind of persistence and determination is what allows us to stay adaptable and optimistic even when we have to do school over google meets.
We’re still finding ways to be together even when it can’t look like normal. Like my senior class did a ‘senior sunrise’ where we all gathered on the football field at 6:30am and watched the sunrise together. We also organized an outdoor drive-in movie night where the whole school could come and watch together. And we’re trying to do that again but instead of a movie, we broadcast the football games so we can still watch them together. Because that’s “what it’s like”, there are a lot of things that make me really sad, but by choosing to focus on the good and the things I do have, I feel hopeful instead of defeated.
Our youth at SJA have amazing things to say. Our goal is to give them a platform to share their thoughts on topics they want to talk about. Their thoughts are uniquely theirs. From politics to faith, school issues to our church, this blog shares their voices with our community.