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“Restoration & Renewal”
Wednesday, November 23, 2022
Dear Friends in Christ,
“In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Th 5:18).
Thanksgiving doesn’t happen automatically. We need to be reminded to do it. One of our greatest defects is forgetfulness of the good we’ve been given and, even more, of the Giver of the good. Sometimes we don’t feel like giving thanks. Sometimes the good things in our lives aren’t obvious. So, Saint Paul exhorts us to give thanks, not just when we feel like it, but in all circumstances. God is always good and always doing good for us, no matter the circumstances in which we find ourselves.
Notice also the second part of Saint Paul’s exhortation. To give thanks is the will of God for us in Christ Jesus. In other words, his will is more perfectly brought to perfection within us when we give thanks, when we say Yes, Amen! to his goodness.
One of the most noble instincts of our founding fathers was that we should give thanks as a nation. The two most significant proclamations of Thanksgiving were those of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. What’s perhaps most surprising is that both proclamations also exhort the nation to penance. Washington recommends that we ask God to “pardon our national and other transgressions.” Lincoln calls for “humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience.” In other words, these men had a keen sense of our nation’s shortcomings and a still greater sense of God’s blessings.
That’s a good reminder for today. We’re keenly aware of the deep division and dysfunction in our nation. Perhaps we’ve allowed that to blind us to the gifts that God has bestowed upon our country. All the more reason to pause and give thanks.
So let us render prayers of thanksgiving tomorrow for the good God’s gifts to each of us and to all of us as a nation, even as we ask forgiveness for our nation’s errors and sins. May our prayers of thanksgiving bring his will to perfection in our nation.
40 Hours Devotion–Again, as last year, the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed for adoration around the clock. We will have extra times for Confession and set times for the praying of the Rosary, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and the Liturgy of the Hours. The most important element of this time is simple, quiet prayer before our Lord.
Each evening Father Dan Hanley will preach a meditation during Solemn Vespers, in honor of Our Lady of the Trinity ~ Daughter, Spouse, Mother. Please plan on attending our 40 Hours devotion again this year, December 5th through 7th.
I ask every member of the parish to commit to a time of prayer.
Tuesday, November 29th, is Giving Tuesday–Please consider supporting the Saint James School Annual Appeal. As an added incentive, a generous couple with a particular love for our parish school has offered a $20,000 challenge match for this year’s Annual Appeal. Every dollar you donate will be matched up to $20,000. Donate online or send a check to the attention of Kathleen Anderson, Director of Development, 905 Park Avenue, Falls Church, VA 22046. Please include “Annual Appeal” in the memo line of the check. Thank you for your generosity and support.
Advent Gift Cards–The Social Outreach Committee is collecting $25 gift cards to Giant, Target, and Walmart. These cards are given to those in need throughout the year, but the need is greater at Christmas. Gift cards may be dropped off or mailed to the Rectory or put in the collection basket during Mass. Social Outreach members will also be accepting gift cards and/or checks for gift cards when they host donut Sunday on December 11th.
Adopt-A-Family–Parishioners can provide much needed holiday cheer by sponsoring a specific family with donations of gifts and a holiday meal. The donation deadline is December 8th. Contact: Mary Ann Parker, 703-241-9128.
Seven Corners Children’s Center Christmas Drive–The Social Outreach Committee is collecting books, games, and puzzles (ages 2-5) and children’s clothing (shirts, pants, coats, mittens, hats, gloves, sizes (2-14). Donations can be left at the Rectory or in the SOC collection box in the main vestibule. The deadline for donations is December 18th.
There’s a fine line between a numerator and a denominator. (Only a fraction of readers will find this funny.)
Through the intercession of our Lady and Saint James, may the Lord bless and keep you.
Sincerely in Christ,