Do some words get jumbled in your head until you can't remember what they mean anymore? You know what I mean. It's like when you memorize something incorrectly; someone's name, for instance. For some reason that woman looks like a Susan to you when her name is actually Sharon. For a while you don't realize your mistake until, one day, you find out that her name is NOT Susan after all. So, from then on she becomes the-woman-who's-name-isn't-Susan in your mind. You may or may not remember that her real name is Sharon but, it is definitely NOT Susan. Then she becomes Sharon-the-woman-who's-name-isn't-Susan. Pretty soon all you remember is "Sharon" and "not". And that, my friends, is how you completely jumble two words in your head. Take it from me. I'm an expert.
For me, it's like the words "Eucharist" and "Emmanuel." They both begin with "E", are kinda long, have to do with Jesus' presence, and sometimes get jumbled in my brain. Now, let me clarify. I don't confuse the Holy Eucharist with Jesus as Emmanuel. I know that the Eucharist is the real presence of Jesus and that Emmanuel is a title used to refer to Him. However, sometimes I forget if "Eucharist" or "Emmanuel" means "God with us." To me, it seems logical that the word Eucharist would mean "God with us" since that's what happens in the consecration; God becomes present to us in the form of bread and wine.
Well, in case you're like me and get a little confused about those two words also, I'm here to tell you that "Emmanuel" (and not "Eucharist") means "God with us." Whew! Glad we cleared that up. Hopefully, I didn't confuse you in the process.
Now that we've addressed the "Emmanuel" confusion, what about "Eucharist?" According to About.com's Catholicism section by Scott P. Richert, the word "Eucharist" comes from Greek "by way of Latin" and means "thanksgiving". How beautiful! The word we use to refer to Christ becoming present in the bread and wine means "thanksgiving!" After all, if there's anything we should give thanks for, it's God loving us so much that He sent His Son to earth to die for our sins AND that He continues to send Jesus to us every time Mass is celebrated through the bread and the wine of the Holy Eucharist. If that's not cause for giving thanks, I don't know what is.
So, amidst your travels and meal preparations, consider carving out some time for the ultimate in thanksgiving and attend Mass. No, it's not a holy day. But, what better way to give thanks than to participate in the sacrament that is "thanksgiving" on Thanksgiving.
Many Blessings for a Peaceful and Grace-filled Thanksgiving,