Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Homecoming

Did you go “home” for Christmas? Or did someone come “home” for Christmas? How does coming Home or “having them home” make us feel as parents, or as children?

Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” Lk 2:41-52

Think about how Mary must have felt when Jesus got lost in the temple at His presentation and then how she felt when she and Joseph found him listening and talking to the priests. Think about how Jesus must feel each time when we come home to Him.

There is so much said about taking “Christ” out of Christmas. But what about when we take the “mas” (Mass) out of Christmas. And what about those that only find the need to seek out Christ once or twice a year at Christmas and Easter? How much of that “homecoming” are they missing, and how much “hope” does Jesus find each time we “come” to see or find Him as Mary did?

The traditions within the Mass are much the same as the traditions within a home. In both, we ask for forgiveness, listen to the advice and wisdom of our parents/Father, break and share bread and give Thanksgiving for our blessings. No matter when we go to Mass (or home), no matter what our state of “grace” is or how we look or feel when we get there (Home or Mass), when I leave I feel like I have been “held,” given “hope,” “loved,” “nourished,” and “blessed.” “Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.” 2 Thes 2:15

It is my hope that you have all experienced these same feelings and were able to spend time with both God and family this Christmas. And if you have not yet had the chance to experience those feelings at your “family Home” for some reason, that you will continue to join us at worship, because Jesus is always present with loving arms to give us a Christmas Homecoming whenever we join with Him and are in his presence with our Christian family.

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