By Fr. Frank J. Timar, MSC
Jesus invited His closest friends to a special dinner the night before He died. Much of what happened at that dinner table was unexpected, even shocking. Jesus was about to leave His disciples and He was very concerned for the twelve. So, He gave them one of His greatest promises: “I’m going to prepare a place for you….so that where I am there you also may be.” He promised them a home.
Some say home is where the heart is. Others say home is where you hang your hat. Somehow, someway, home has a special place in the human heart. It seems as though we are all longing for a place to call home. A traditional folk song with the title “I Want to Go Home” is the song for every human heart. Whenever we feel lonely or abandoned, we want to go home. Whenever we are filled with doubt or despair, we want to go home. Whenever we feel cut loose or lost, we want to go home.
“To feel at home.” It’s a lovely phrase. It also expresses the deepest longings of the human heart. St. Augustine gave an insightful expression to this longing when he wrote of God, “You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in thee.” Somehow our restless hearts are always looking for a place to rest, a place to find true and abiding peace, a place to call home.
Sometimes, we think that if we only had the perfect job and lived in in the perfect community, we wouldn’t feel so restless. Or we think that if we could meet that perfect someone, that perfect spouse or partner, we would be ready to settle down. Or again we might think if we can just get the kids through high school then, finally we can rest. And yet, even when we land our dream job, and find our soulmate, and raise our children, somehow the human heart is still restless, still looking for a place to find true and genuine peace. Somehow, we are all still longing for a place to truly call home. “Lord, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in thee.” It seems like so much of our human experience can be summed up in St. Augustine’s words.
Our true home is with God, and Jesus is preparing a place for his disciples in God’s home, in God’s heart. Our true home, ultimately, is not a place, but a relationship. It is a relationship in the very heart of God, made possible by Jesus.