Advent – a time to think of those less Fortunate –
This is an exciting and yet busy time of the year. For those of us who are of the Christian faith, we are in the Season of Advent, which is the four weeks prior to Christmas. This year’s Advent season is the shortest possible because Christmas eve is the 4th Sunday of Advent, so that means that many activities and preparations for Christmas are pushed together. Whatever your faith, most likely this is an exciting time of the year. However, in all the busyness, we can easily forget to take the time to tell those we love how much they mean to us. As a priest, I celebrate a lot of funerals and this time of the year can be especially hard for many families, who have just recently lost a loved one or are still grieving. It can also be a tough time for the elderly and homebound people who have little if any contact with friends or family, so it is good to remember to give them a call or a visit as well.
One of the things that I like about this season, other than the decorations and the parties etc, is that it hopefully calls us to come out of ourselves and think of those less fortunate. There are so many programs at Rotary, Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, most Churches and houses of worship, that help people to have a good Christmas or to provide presents to children that could not otherwise have them. Those are good and we should continue to support them, but one of the things we can all forget is that once Christmas is over, the needs continue, which is why groups like Rotary are so important in our communities to keep us aware of the needs all year long.
Recently I took my 86 year old mother, who cannot get around all that well and is legally blind, to New York City for Thanksgiving. If you ever have the opportunity to visit New York at this time of the year, it is beyond anything that I have ever seen. From the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, to the amazing windows and lights in all the stores, and of course the tree in Rockefeller Center it can to wonders to get one excited about the season. Even in our own community I have notice that holiday decorations have certainly ramped up over the years, of course I am still old enough to remember when Main Street in Downtown was all decorated for Christmas the John A Brown’s had awesome windows and there was a Santa Claus parade. May God bless all of you in this Holiday Season and may there truly be peace on earth and goodwill to all.