As St. John's Day in Winter is upon us, we are reminded of the Masonic importance of light and renewal. While the day bears the name selected by the Christian founders of the Craft, it has come to encompass universal concepts that have been recognized and honored by almost every culture and religion of man. We celebrate the shortest - and darkest - day of the year, to honor the plan of the Grand Artificer of the Universe. His Grand Design assures us that in our darkest hours, we can have hope of greater light, warmth and sustenance as we progress toward the renewal of spring. That renewal is mirrored within our Lodges, which are reenergized with the sprit of new challenges, and a renewed commitment to meet them in this new Masonic Century.
The light of this season is not only reflected in the heavens but in our hearts. As we contemplate "the stupendous revolutions" of the planets, we also contemplate our own conduct, rejecting that which is base and unworthy in ourselves, and committing ourselves to a personal renewal of spirit. That renewal is found in the warmth of fraternal care that we show each other, as we transmit the tenets of our craft to the next generation of Masons. And it goes beyond the tiler's door. It is found in the warmth of charity and love that we spread throughout our communities, as we remember to provide some part of our own bounty for those less fortunate. Most of all, the light we spread is found in our families, with the dawning of understanding that we see in the eyes of our children and grandchildren as we teach them the significance of this season.
To each and every Mason of our Grand Lodge and to your families, Susan and I wish the full measure of the joy that this season can hold. May your holidays be filled with love, and the spirit of St. John's Day in Winter sustain you with the promise of renewal and light.
Yours in the Craft,
Joseph S. Crociata