It was particularly fitting that our new flagpole went up the week we prepared to celebrate the independence and freedom of our great country. This was a communal effort with many contributing. Erv Geisler from our Parish Building Committee led the efforts. Our incoming 6th graders from the Academy held a special fundraiser when they were fourth graders along with our Parent Association. In addition, we received a grant from Gala funds, and the Knights of Columbus donated the American and Illinois flags that wave at the top of the illuminated 70′ pole that can be seen from afar. Thanks to all who worked together to make the flagpole and flags a reality.
Giving and Electronic Giving
Once again, I thank so many of you who are so generous in supporting our parish financially. As you may have noticed in regular bulletin presentations and certainly during the past three finance/stewardship presentations at Mass in October, we are in need of an increase in weekly collections. Our Operations community has worked hard to reduce expenses to strengthen our financial position and thus balance our budget.
Consistently, when people discover the many ministries, programs, services and activities that we offer, AND when they are made aware of all that it takes to offer these, the response is,”I never knew we offered so much,” or “I never realized how much work it takes to make church happen.”
Please consider financially supporting Holy Family through electronic giving. It provides a number of benefits including reduced cost for printing envelopes, a more consistent revenue stream, and it is easy and helpful in managing your finances in conjunction with your other bills and expenses. Electronic giving also gives you an opportunity to prayerfully reflect on and change your donations.
If you regularly support Holy Family financially – thank you. If you have not increased your giving recently, please consider doing so as the cost of operating such a vibrant community and campus continues to rise. Remember, we are in THIS together and THIS is the financial stewardship of Holy Family Catholic Community.
What does Holy Family mean to you? Let’s all be as generous as possible.
Major Themes of Luke’s Gospel
We will be hearing a significant portion of the Gospel according to Luke between now and Advent. Here are some major themes to look for:
• It is written as a two volume work, along with the Acts of the Apostles.
• God’s promise to Israel is fulfilled in Jesus Christ and extended to non-Jews including Pagans, Gentiles, Buddhists, Hindi and obviously Christians.
• The preaching and teaching of Jesus is grounded in the early Church.
• Jesus places extremely high demands on the new Christian disciples, such as total detachment from family and possessions.
• The Gospel emphasizes mercy, prayer and concern for women more than other Gospel writers.
• The entire Gospel is written as a journey toward a final destination – Jerusalem.
A great example is the Gospel for this weekend. Luke tells us that a man asks Jesus what is required for eternal life. The answer is simple, “Love God and love neighbor.” Perhaps the answer is too simple, or, perhaps like many, he wishes to test Jesus. He asks a second question then, “And who is my neighbor?”
This gives Jesus the opportunity to tell the story that we have come to know as “The Good Samaritan.”
Three people encounter a man left for dead on the road, badly beaten by robbers. Two pass him by. The third, a Samaritan, becomes the ultimate example of neighborly compassion. The fact that Jesus extols the Samaritan is important because of the disdain that mainstream Jews at the time had for Samaritans. Without going into great detail, mainstream Jews and Samaritans, although both claiming the special heritage of God’s chosen, have deep divides stemming from the great exile of the Jews during the time of Babylonian oppression. Many Jews left their land; some stayed.
Samaritans stayed, and thus claim a special privilege of their courage and the sacredness of the land they stayed in. Having the hero of the story as a Samaritan is akin to telling a Chicago Bears fan a story in which the hero is a Green Bay Packer fan.
Perhaps some of this background is helpful, but taking a different view, it also challenges us to ask and answer a question of our own, “Who is my neighbor?”
For 40 of our teens and 8 adult chaperones, their neighbors are residents of Huntingburg, Indiana. These teens and adults will help clean, paint, build, plant, scrape, haul and generally improve conditions of homes and the Huntingburg community located in southwestern Indiana beginning Monday, July 15, returning late Friday evening. Please pray for them.