The image of a “home” is usually one of comfort and safety. (It should be.) It is the place where you are loved and accepted, in spite of yourself. It is where you receive nourishment and sustenance, encouragement and support, solace and shared sorrow. Home is where your heart is: where your thoughts and feelings are tended, where you can be yourself entirely. (The exception is bad or sinful behavior—but you can reconcile unconditionally with your other “homies.”) Home is supposed to be heaven on earth—or as close as we humans can replicate. But truly, much of this description would describe heaven itself: unconditional love, no more tears or sorrow. In the face of our earthly efforts, our true home is in heaven.
The Gospel today is the story of the sinful Prodigal (wanting too much worldly stuff) who now should remind us of our true home, and of God’s unconditional love and welcome for us. Jesus told his first followers that they needed to make sure their treasure was in heaven, because their hearts would be where their treasure was. He told them that their true home wasn’t on earth and promised them that He was going to prepare a place for them—and then return to bring them to this place—their true home. He told them (and tells us!) that here on earth there will be many trials and sorrows and trouble—but have courage, take heart, because He has overcome the world! He will be with us through it all, we can do all things with God.
So, if our true home is in heaven and not here on earth, how should we live here and now? St. Paul tells Timothy today to teach people to live this way: They should be rich in good works, give generously to those in need, and to always be ready to share with others whatever God has given them. In doing this they will be storing up true treasure as a good foundation for the future—so that they may take hold of a life that is a true life.
True life! True life in our true home awaits us—and we can begin by practicing a true life right here and right now. Let's not get so distracted, derailed, diverted, spoiled, addicted and preoccupied by our current world and all its noise that we forget our time here is just preparation for the real one—the eternal one—our true home.
Just a Note: The Music Ministry (Adult and Youth Choirs) will begin soon preparing for the new season of singing for the glory of God. It is not (and never) too late to sign up. If you have a musical talent, come and see me. If you are interested in this ministry and are unsure of your abilities, come and see me. If you like to sing, come and see me, for as Scripture says: “you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” Answer the call to share your gifts!