Christmas & Home
Dec 18, 2017
Of all of the holidays that we observe, perhaps the one that we most often associate with “being at home” is that of Christmas. We all yearn to be at home. For all of us at times, the Christmas Season is the most upbeat time of the year. For each of us, at times, Christmastide can be one of the most depressing times of the year. It all depends upon how we understand and relate to what it means to “be at home.”
Many of us are inclined to identify an upbeat Christmas with favorable circumstances. We have celebrated or will celebrate Christmases on which all or several family members are able to be present. What a blessing it is at these times when there is peace and harmony in our families and everyone is in reasonably good health. On observances of Christmas that we cherish, we are able to enjoy an abundance of good food and beverages. If only we could hang on to favorable circumstances such as these!
In an ever-developing world, each of us experiences changes, whether we want them to happen or not. We may lose our present job through no fault of our own. We and/or a loved one may get seriously injured or develop a debilitating health condition. Members of our immediate family grow up and sometimes move far away from where they grew up, making it difficult to get together. Unless we die first, we experience the deaths of persons whom we deeply love.
When painful circumstances come our way, does this mean that we are doomed to experience a depressing Christmas Season? This will depend upon how we understand and relate to what it means to “be at home.”
Our Faith in the Lord leads us to see that we are a pilgrim people who are on a journey. We and those with whom we live and associate are continuing to develop. In the light of our Faith, we are invited to associate “being at home” as a process of striving to be where the Lord wants us to be at a given time. For example, if someone in our immediate family had to be confined to a hospital on Christmas Day, our home on this particular Christmas would be in the hospital room in which our loved one is a patient.
Some of us have to face Christmas without the presence of persons with whom we’ve shared meaningful Christmases in the past. Our loved ones have gone to their eternal home. When this happens, does this mean that we are doomed to a depressing Christmas? By no means!
Being separated from persons whom we love offers an exciting opportunity. We can ask the Lord for the awareness of a person or family with whom the Lord wants us to be in contact. The Lord at times leads us to reach out to given persons through a growing affection for these persons/families.
Lest our reaching out to persons to whom our attention is drawn be experienced and perceived as an act of condescension, let’s reach out to persons to whom we are drawn with the hope and expectation that they can enrich us as we establish contact with them. As we continue to invite the Lord to influence the way that we relate to others, our relationships will be mutually enriching. In relationships that are rooted in the Lord, we will not feel indebted to one another.
As, on the basis of prayer, we grow in the determination to be where the Lord wants us to be at a given time in an ever-developing world, we will be strengthened in the ability to be “at home with the Lord’ amidst the pleasant and painful changes that come our way.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Nelson Beaver – Pastor