The point of this post is not to judge these folks. Instead I want to reflect on the point that something stirs in their hearts, drawing them to Mass on these very holy days of our liturgical calendar. I believe they come, because despite whatever reason they stay away the rest of the year, they know those days are holy and they must stop whatever is going on in their lives and acknowledge our Lord. They aren't that far from coming back. St. Augustine said "Lord, our hearts are restless until they rest in you." Indeed they are. I think it is very fitting that one of last night's psalms was Psalm 42:1, which reads, "as the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God."
Instead of judging these children of the LORD, we need to embrace them. We need to go out of our way to be cheerful and helpful. For example, we can share our New Missal worship aid to help them with the recent changes. We can leave our comfort zones and actually greet them, introduce ourselves. We can let them know they are welcome, even if they are sitting in "our seats."
As parishes we need to do a better job making resources like Catholics Come Home readily available so they will have an easier time figuring out what to do to "come back" to the Church. It's amazing to me that most parishes don't use Christmas and Easter as opportunities to draw these folks in. We are missing out on a great chance for real evangelization.
Finally, we all need to pray for them and for ourselves. We should pray that God ignites that little spark in their hearts and we need to pray that we are prepared to be used as instruments of God.