Acts 6: 1-7, 1 Pet 2: 4-9, Jn 14: 1-12
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
It’s impossible to exaggerate the importance of home. I once heard the governor of a prison say: ‘If you were to give the prisoners a choice between going home and staying here in a luxury suite, complete with color TV, a sauna, a cocktail cabinet, and so on, there isn’t a single prisoner who wouldn’t choose to go home.’’
When things fail, when we feel tired and lonely, there is always home to go to. ‘Let’s go home.’ ‘I want to go home.’ How many times and in how many different circumstances have we heard people say those words, or have said them ourselves. Home is where we are safe. Home is a place of communion. If you know you’re going home, the trip is never too long or too difficult. We must go out into the world to know how lovely our own home is. Imagine if we had no home to go to.
Nelson Mandela tells how during the long years of his imprisonment on Robben Island he had a recurring nightmare. He says, “In the dream, I had just been released from prison-only it was not Robben Island but a jail in Johannesburg. I walked outside the gates into the city and found no one to meet me. In fact, there was no one there at all, no people, no cars, no taxes. I would then set out on foot towards Soweto. I walked for many hours before arriving in Orlando West, and then turned the corner towards No. 8115. Finally, I would see my home, but it turned out to be empty, a ghost house, with all the doors and windows open but no one there at all. (Long Road to Freedom, 1994, Little, Brown and Company)
To have a home is not just to have a house. It is to have a set of close ties with people who accept us for what we are, and who gives us a feeling of belonging. But in spite of all the buildings we put up and roots we put down, here on earth we do not have a lasting home. All we have, as Paul says, is a kind of tent. At death the tent is folded up.
Hence, it is not only on earth that we need a home. We also need a home to go to when death brings down the curtain on the day of our life. Without such a home life would be a journey to nowhere.
During the last supper Jesus began to talk to the apostles about the fact that he was leaving them. On hearing this, they were plunged into sorrow. But he consoled them with these words, which are probably the loveliest words in the Gospel: ‘There are many rooms in my Father’s house. I am going to prepare a place for you. I shall return to take you with me; so that where I am you may be too.’ This means that we have an eternal home to go to, namely, the Father’s house.
For a child’s home is not so much a place as a relationship of love and trust. A child can move around a lot and not to feel homeless, as long as parents are there. It is the same for those who have a close relationship with God.
We spend our lives searching for God, and groping our way towards him. To die is to find him, to meet him, and to see him.
To die is to go to God, and to go to God is to go home.
Peace and all good!
Fr. Valery Burusu