Monday, January 6, 2020

Homily - Christmas

Welcome home.
The dictionary defines the word home this way:
           “the place where one lives permanently” 
Where do you permanently live? Have you found home yet?
Jesus came into our world to show us all the way home.
He came into our world without a home. Born in a place where animals lived and fed, in a humble manger, Jesus became our home.
To enter the humble existence of his birth scene, we are all called to change our way of thinking about home (the place where one lives permanently).
Pope Francis said something quite profound about this change, this conversion, we are all called to live daily.
“Jesus does not ask us to love him as a response to his love for us, rather he asks us to love one another with his own love. He asks us to be like him, because he has become like us.”
            This is home, my sisters and brothers. This is how we find the place where we live permanently. 
Pope Francis recently quoted a man who was made a saint this year, St. John Henry Newman, who said “Christmas should find us always more like (Jesus), who at this time became a child for love of us. Every Christmas should find us more simple, more humble, more saintly, more charitable, more resigned, more happy, more full of love.”
St. John Henry Newman also called this change a conversion – an interior transformation. ”Here on earth to live is to change, and to change often is to become more perfect.” More like Jesus.
Pope Francis calls this our pilgrimage. This pilgrimage has been ongoing for the entirety of human existence.
For Abraham, father of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths, home was a pilgrimage to the Promised land.
2,000 years ago, home was a pilgrimage to Galilee to follow Jesus. And in that pilgrimage Jesus became our home.
What change in thinking do you need to undergo at this point in your pilgrimage through life?
As Pope Francis reminds us, “Christmas is the feast of the love of God for us. Divine love inspires, guides… and defeats the human fear of leaving the ‘secure’ and launching out in the ‘mystery’.”
            At St. Patrick Catholic Parish we have a tradition of seeking wisdom from the entirety of our community. At this time, I’d like to welcome forward our gifted prophet Lisa Dennison to guide us further along on this pilgrimage toward home.

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