Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christ Dwells Among US: Rocco De Leo

Nothing too fancy today. The pastor at my church [St Anthony Catholic Church in San Jacinto, Ca,) Father Art loves to tell stories. One story during the Christmas Vigil homily really resonated with me, so I want to share it with you...tell me what you think:

A rather rambunctious teenage boy (young man about 17) is a decent kid. He does have a tendency to stay out late, sometimes coming home drunk. His parents finally decided to lay down the law. "You need to come home earlier-stop staying out late every night". They told him "the next time you come home after midnight, the door will be locked, and you will have to sleep in the cold, creaky garage". A few weeks went by without any trouble. About a month later, the young man arrived home after a night of partying around 1:30 am...front door locked...back door locked...side door...yes...locked...He realized that his time had come, and he was going to have to face the fact that this night was going to be spent in the cold garage. He found himself a little corner to curl up into. He was asleep about an hour when he was awaken by a noise. He looked up to see a shadow above him. It was his father! He had two pillows and two blankets. "Son", he said, " now the rule was that you would be punished by having to sleep in the cold garage, but nothing was said stopping me from sleeping out here with you." Father and son shared the blankets and pillows until the morning.

God, the father, through Jesus Christ, came with "pillows and blankets" to get us-his children- through the night. He doesn't just open the door and say "come on in"- he suffers with us. Why not just let us/him in for the night? Any parents out there can answer that one pretty easily. God loves us so, he suffers with us to open up the opportunity for repentance, salvation, and his love (love is never lost- no matter our choice). God did much more than sleep in a garage---While this is a joyful time of hope, and new birth-being the Christmas season--his suffering came to fullness on Good Friday--on the cross!
God Bless-