I have been praying all day especially for the United States of America as this is their Thanksgiving Day.
Today I simply want to say to the people of the United States: Thank-you.
From Boston to Washington, from Harrisburg to Fargo, for five decades every time I have been in your country I have been touched by the genuine kindness and faith of everyone I have met.
My prayer is that we who are your neighbours not confuse policy with individual citizens, not forget we are brothers and sisters just because our leaders disagree about something, that we not fail to love and respect each other.
I thank-you that, even with the pitfalls and sometimes questionable use we all make of democracy, you as a nation seek freedom for others so that someday all peoples of all nations can live without fear.
The first time I ever met any citizens of the United States was when I was a boy of about eleven and I was hitch-hiking from one village to the next where I grew up on the Atlantic coast.
It was an extremely hot day and this, it seemed to me, huge car pulled up beside me with New York plates on it.
The elderly couple inside offered me a ride.
For me that is the hallmark of the United States, the ordinary kindness of ordinary people.
That elderly couple talked a lot about the beauty of my own country, the kindness of Canadians, how they were simply ‘returning the favour.’
Our best defence against the terrorists, our best defence of life, as Jesus teaches us, indeed commands us, is to love one another.
Part of love is respect and gratitude.
Thank-you America. God Bless you.