He was not the light,
but came to testify to the light.
Monday, Dec 21 is the Winter Solstice – the darkest day of the year where night will be 14.5 hours. We are in the midst of the darkness. Precisely now is when nature itself is telling us of the need for light. Interestingly this year, tomorrow will have an alignment of Jupiter and Saturn on the solstice. They will nearly appear to be a single light in the sky. This alignment has not occurred in 800 years, and some have suggested a similar alignment may have been the ‘Star of Bethlehem.’ Whether a comment, a special star, or a planetary alignment, the need for light is real, not just naturally, but in our lives.
John the Baptist willingly acknowledged his need for the light. He equally acknowledged that he himself was not the light. He realized that the Light must come from outside him – from Jesus Christ, the Light of the world. Are we willing to be humble like John? Acknowledging our need for the Light of Christ and testifying to Him with the whole of our lives.
Parish Year-End Donations
The generosity and enduring support of Holy Family is evident in so many ways in our parish. You provide so that the whole of the parish and her many ministries may be funded to help build the Kingdom of God in our little bit of the vineyard. In ordinary times, you are liberal in your support of the parish. In these times, you have remained strong and truly sacrificial. I am deeply appreciative of all your offerings to Christ and the Church.
With that said, I wanted to bring to your attention that the parish is running slightly behind. Almost every year, Holy Family enters December slightly 3-5% behind budget. This year, we are entering December behind to a greater extent. At the end of November, we are just over $38,000 (11%) behind budget. I understand the situation around us is unsettling and can be scary. I know many have lost jobs and financial security is fragile. I am sympathetic and understand why giving may have had to be reduced. If you are truly unable, be at peace. The parish continues to be in a stable financial position. Yet, we are starting to have to make adjustments and will continue to do so to protect the long-term establishment of the parish.
Yet, I also know from past years, that many parishioners make substantial, calendar year-end gifts. Your year-end generosity makes a tremendous difference for the overall parish health. Please consider your particular situation, your divine blessings, and how God may be asking of you to trust in Faith. Donations can be made on Faith Direct, in check, or in the offering basket at the church doors. Those who typically take the required minimum distribution (RMD) from your IRA can still choose to process a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) from your IRA to benefit Holy Family or any other qualified charity. You have until 12/31 so contact your financial or accounting professional today. Thank you and God Bless you.
Haiti Home for Christmas Challenge: We are still accepting donations for the Advent Home for Haiti. Thank you to the many who have already made contributions. You can make your contribution to the Haitian Home for Christmas on the Holy Family Faith Direct – “One-Time Gift Now” or by sending a check to Holy Family with “Advent Haiti Home” in the memo line. More information can be found at: crosscatholic.org/advent.
Holy Family, Drawing near to Bethlehem, Pray for us.
~ Fr Jeremy M. Gries