“This world is not my home, I’m just a passing thru. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue; The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door, And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore. O Lord, You know I have no friend like you, If heaven’s not my home then Lord what will I do; The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door, And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.” This old hymn reminds us that we live in a temporary tent here and now…
In the Second Reading this Nineteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, St. Paul teaches the Hebrews and us about what faith is: “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.” In reading this Scripture passage about Abraham and his descendants (called by St. Paul “strangers and aliens on earth”), they show themselves as seeking a homeland. They all died in faith—not yet understanding salvation as we do—and yet they remain faithful. Things hoped for and yet not seen by them; but we have “seen” and we know what Jesus did for us.
This reading made me ponder as how we all tend to live here on earth thinking that this is IT, this is the destination for us, and yet in faith we know that this not so. All of us are on a journey to our heavenly homeland—something in the day to day we tend to forget. We are instructed to live in the joy of this journey back home to God—and to be ready—for we do not know when we will be called back home, arriving at our real and final destination. Remember last weekend: we heard how our lives may be demanded suddenly of us—not knowing when this will happen. The Gospel Acclamation verse today is: “Stay awake and be ready! For you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”
Jesus instructs us today to be faithful and prudent stewards while waiting for him to “punch our tickets” for home. He says: “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person with more.” This is the point from last weekend about storing up treasure only for yourself; and for this week: how you are known by what it is that you value. Last weekend Fr. Kevin spoke about how we are known and shaped by our choices—so what is your treasure?
We hear Jesus say today: “Where your treasure is, there your heart shall be.” I think that our treasure is in heaven—and that all we say and do on this journey back to God must reflect this. Are you actively seeking your heavenly homeland? You might pray today about your priorities and on what it is you truly value. Pray about where your heart is, and upon what you treasure. It may just be the way to find the path home that you need right now. Happy trails fellow travelers!