Receiving and Giving Light
Dear Friends in Christ,
Tomorrow is the feast of the Presentation of the Lord. It is the 40th day after Christmas and, as the last event in the infancy narrative (Lk 2:22-40), it is in a certain sense the end of the Christmas season.
This feast is also known as “Candlemas.” Simeon praises the infant Christ as “a light for revelation to the Gentiles.” From that description of our Lord the custom developed of blessing candles on this feast. Herewith, a few thoughts on the meaning of the feast.
First, Christ’s being the light is the basis for his followers’ being “the light of the world” (Mt 5:14). To be His disciple means to be enlightened by Him and, in turn, to be a light for others. Indeed, we ought to be a source of truth and peace for those around us – not necessarily by brilliant words or heroic actions but simply by living our faith in Him sincerely and devoutly. But if we are not enlightened by Him, then we only serve as a cause of greater darkness. Which brings us to another point.
Light can only be given by the humble. Notice how a candle must decrease and become less in order to give light. That is a great image of humility. Like the candle, only those willing to decrease – to be overlooked and obscure; to receive light from a source other than themselves – only they are able to give off light. The proud – those who refuse to decrease, who want attention for themselves – they only give off a glare. They only obscure the way to our Lord.
In short, in order to be light to others we need to humble ourselves to be enlightened by Christ.
May our Lord Jesus Christ, the light to the nations, enlighten us by His grace to bear witness to His saving truth.
Bishop’s Lenten Appeal (BLA)
The BLA is underway. Please take some time to reflect and pray about your sacrificial gift. This coming Sunday is commitment Sunday, but you can go ahead and make a donation now. Every little bit helps to bring us to our goal.
Blessing of Candles
We will have the blessing of the candles prior to each Mass on February 2nd….for those able to make it through the ice and snow!
VDOE’s Transgender Agenda
There are still a few days to voice your objections to the Virginia Department of Education Model Policies for the Treatment of Transgender Students in Virginia’s Public Schools. I encourage you to visit the VDOE website and express your opposition to this dangerous document. For more information, visit The Family Foundation.
Virginia Abortion Bill
On Friday, January 22nd, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Virginia Senate passed a bill to expand taxpayer funding for abortion in the Commonwealth. Please read the statement of Virginia’s bishops here and go here to learn how to take action against taxpayer funded abortion on demand.
Saint James School Golf Tournament
Join us for the 2021 Saint James School Golf Tournament, April 16th at Westfields Golf Club! For more information visit: https://www.golfsaintjames.com/
National Catholic Schools Week
Today begins Catholic Schools Week. Please encourage friends and family to consider making a donation to our award-winning Catholic school on this year’s Day of Giving: Tuesday, February, 2nd through Wednesday, February 3rd. A generous parishioner has offered to match up to $5,000 for all gifts received during this 24-hour period. Please donate via our website. Or Text-to-Give at 703-584-7023 and select the Saint James School Annual Appeal. You can also mail or drop off a check to the Rectory Office: 905 Park Ave, Falls Church, VA 22046. All checks received this week will be matched. For more information, please contact Kathleen Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.Thank you for your generosity and support!
Honoring Monsignor Heller
Please take a few minutes to view the new plaque (in the left transept, on the right side as you face the sanctuary) in honor of Monsignor Heller. He was Pastor of Saint James from 1953-1977 – a long tenure that saw extraordinary growth in the parish, great change in the Church, and upheaval in society. He led the parish through those times with great care. The plaque was donated by a long-time parishioner who wanted to honor his many years here. Please stop by and offer a few Hail Marys for the good Monsignor.
Pop-n-Go Thank you
Thank you to all who contributed to the Pop-n-Go food drive last Saturday. It was a great success and set us up well for our food distribution this Friday! May God reward you.
Tonight at 8pm! Why didn't Jesus get along with the religious leaders of Israel? What were all the controversies?! Also, what prayer is father going to use at Mass? How do we know?
Submit your questions: email@example.com
Through the intercession of our Lady and Saint James, may the Lord bless and keep you.
Sincerely in Christ,
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