The custom of marking the entrance to our homes with the numbers/letters "20+C+M+B+15" is gaining ground in Britain, as the large numbers collecting blessed chalk at the end of Mass this morning demonstrated. It at once marks the names of the three magi, Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. It can also be understood as a blessing prayed upon the house over whose door it is inscribed. But I think, too, that if gains a richness by reference to some words of the Gospel for the Solemnity of the Epiphany (Mt. 2:11):
... and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshipped him.
The inscription invites us to make our homes places in which the Lord is worshipped, and reminds us as we come and go from our homes of that invitation to adore the Lord. It also extends that invitation to those who might be visitors to our homes. Last June or July, it was my postman who mentioned to me, as he delivered a parcel, that he had found out what the inscription stood for.
Less reverently .......
In the weeks leading up to 30th December, there were some 50 Paddington Bear statuettes to be found in locations around London. Though all the same shape, they were variously decorated to designs by a number of the famous and good. They accompanied the release of the film Paddington.The photo below is from Paddington Station itself.
And the photo below, which I titled "Bear down", was taken during a meal out just before Christmas.