Going home answers summons
The first Christmas was the Holy Family's trip home to Bethlehem
Last in an Advent/Christmas series, based on the Gospel for the Christmas Midnight Mass, Lk 2:1-14.
By Chris Broslavick
"...I think you should come home."
"...your mother is in the hospital."
"...we just thought you should know."
More often than I wish to recall I have heard these or similar
words from a kind relative telling me about a concern that needed
my attention. Each time I was called to attend to my mother, who
now lives alone in her home.
Each time I would go home. It was inconvenient, not pleasant, not
what I really wanted to do. But, she is my mother and her home
continues to be home for me as well. I was called; I went.
Usually I was helpless to do much when she was in the hospital.
Her illness would take me by surprise, especially when I had not
visited for a period of time. Admittedly, I did not visit too
often because I didn't particularly enjoy being home.
But without much conscious resolve, I visited more frequently and
became more attentive to my mother's well- being. Perhaps I
thought I could forestall that urgent summons to "come home." But
then a strange thing began to happen. I grew to enjoy my mother's
company, her spark, her "projects," and her consuming joy in
finding a good bargain!
Now I look at this experience as a re-birth, a re-birth in my
relationship with my mother. Oh, it is far from perfect. She
wants now, I want later. She prefers different, I prefer same.
She likes this color, I like that color. But it is fun; she can
be fun! For me, this is a treasured gift - a new birth!
I believe that my experience is in a way like that of Joseph and
Mary (Lk 2:1-14). They responded to the decree "that all the
world should be registered. Joseph went from the town of
Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called
Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of
David. He went to be registered with Mary."
They went home to Bethlehem. It was inconvenient, not a pleasant
duty, not what they really wanted to do. Nonetheless, they
responded to their civil obligation - and then something
wonderful happened. "While they were there, the time came for
Mary to deliver her child. And she gave birth." It all happened
in their home town.
Re-birth, new birth can emerge from our response to a summons
home, whether called to serve our family, or summoned by the
needs of our civic community. A response to a summons to serve
may really be an inward journey, a journey "home" to an
awakening, a new birth, if you will.
To me, Summoned to Serve is about going home, going inside to
allow my response to the summons transform me. And as that
happens, perhaps I, as the angel herald, can bring to all "good
news of great joy" and "be a sign" of peace on earth.
I will be home for Christmas ... reveling in a new birth.
(Broslavick is an education programs consultant for the diocesan
Department of Total Catholic Education. She is a member of the
coordinating committee for the diocesan theme, Summoned to