Today we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the sixth day in the Octave of Christmas. On this day, by the graces of Jesus and the prayers of Mary and Joseph, may all our families experience the deep, abiding love and blessings of God flowing through them to one another and from your own homes into the lives of all others.
Every year, I am awed at the tremendous kindness and generosity of so many of you to the priests. Your Christmas card greetings, gifts, cookies, and other special goodies overflow. We, all of us, are deeply grateful for your kindnesses and remembrance of us at Christmas time, and throughout the year. You are most kind, thoughtful and gracious! Thank you most sincerely!
One of the hallmarks of this amazing parish family is the willingness to share your Faith in our Lord by kind deeds and thoughtful actions. You assist in all our many drives and collections that go directly to those in need. You support the needs of the parish both to maintain and increase our ministries as well as to preserve the beautiful buildings and property of the parish campus. You thoughtfully look after one another, helping where needed and supporting each other on this journey of faith. May God continue to bless and fill you with every grace in the New Year!
During the two weekends leading up to Christmas, we inserted a four-page description of all those charities which received donations from our parish family through our Tithing the Tithe program. Over $36,000 was given on behalf of our parish family to those involved with the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy both near and far. This is in addition to the truly generous donations given to the various second collections for National and Archdiocesan appeals. Again, thank you so very much!!
I am hoping that the idea of tithing helps all of us to look at our charitable giving from a scriptural perspective. A sign of a disciple, or as Matthew Kelly would say a Dynamic Catholic, is generosity. Why? Because God is totally generous. We are His image and likeness, and we are to reflect Him to the world. Generous people are people we want to be around. They are generous not only financially but also with their time and their talent.
Take a look at your ordinary income for the past year and calculate what percentage you gave to charity ~ church and other charities. Then see if you might be able to increase your giving for next year by one percent or two percent. Making the decision now, will allow you to give with a joyful heart and relieve the pressure of deciding on an ad hoc basis about good causes throughout the coming year. God is never outdone in generosity. Just never.
God bless you, God love you,