Hebrews 12:4-7, 11-15
In the past few months, many of us have either longed to or actually "gone home". Holidays and wintertime dreams often encourage a trip "home", to familiar surroundings, family and friends, and even with some time to relax and be refreshed.
Today’s Gospel recounts Jesus going home, along with his disciple-friends. No doubt he enjoyed being with his family and with his disciples. Being "The Man of Prayer", He prayed and taught in the local synagogue…to the distress of the home-town folk! "We know him, his family; where did he get this wisdom and power?…" What a homecoming! No wonder Jesus was unable to share any mighty deeds there, amazed at their lack of faith.
Which leads me to a simple reflection on family and "home". No doubt we can so easily take things and people for granted, even home and family! All too often we miss those everyday dimensions of personhood and place, how we feel welcome and appreciated, how loved one’s words and deeds help form our lives and surroundings.
These days the retail stores are helping us gear up for Valentine’s Day by their displays and offerings of cards and candy — helping focus our love and attention for one another , the love that is based on Jesus, making us family and giving us life. Perhaps… today’s Gospel passage can encourage us to really open our hearts to one another, to the life we share which is "home". Perhaps… we can set aside the quick judgments that often stifle a deeper appreciation of God’s presence in one another, especially our family. Perhaps… we can more readily appreciate the blessings which are our homes and our families — and tell them so!
May God bless us, day by day, with all our families and friends!
Fr. John Schork, C.P. is the local leader of the Passionist community in Louisville, Kentucky.