My father would often say to us, this is a home, not a house. That is, our home was very personal: colors, furniture, pictures reflected the relationship we held as a family. There were toys scattered about signaling play time, TV was on and the adults sat around the kitchen table with a good cup of coffee and great conversation. We lived in our home, our home celebrated who we were.
This Sunday’s gospel is about an engaged couple who are about to make a home together. However, Joseph is in a quandary! Mary is pregnant and not by him. We can only imagine the turmoil and the sense that his dream home has been smashed before he and his beloved even move in together.
The absolutely unexpected happens – an angel appears, reassures him, restoring his dream home! He is preparing a dwelling place for “Emmanuel…God is with us!”
Today, we are to make a home for Emmanuel. We are now to be the risen presence of Christ in our world, we are to make his gospel known. This is how “God is with us”.
Christmas is not just a day or a season. It is the mystery of making incarnate the God who loves us. Each of us is the God-bearer. Each of us is God’s home.