Lenten Reflections: Coming home ..

Today’s blog post is from a regular contributor, our very own Joseph D’Silva!

holy weekLast year, when I was tasked with the opening of Lenten reflection series, I ended up writing that Lent is a season of love (http://www.mcgillcatholics.ca/2014/03/07/lent-a-season-to-love/) , and some of you quite literally took it to heart and the whole thing was close to scandalous …

So this year, I am entrusted with writing about the Holy week, the last week of Lent.

Today I caught up on reading (and some re-reading) all of the lenten reflections from this year, written by our beloved friends. They had done such a wonderful task of delivering the message, that I found myself at a loss for words.

I also wanted to ensure that I come up with a title that won’t cause confusion like last year.

But alas, most of you won’t be going home for the Holy week or for that matter even Easter, neither would I. There’s the semester coming to its end,  with a busy workload of assignments, projects, finals and what not.

So what’s up with the title anyways ? Well its a bit of nostalgic memoir for me.

After I had got my bachelors in engineering and moved a quarter of the country away for work, I noticed that me and my Christian friends quite religiously (no pun intended) went home –  come Christmas or Holy week. It meant a lot for us to be with our family at home during that time. I didn’t pay much attention to it at that time, I was just going with the flow.

Today I am reflecting on that original notion of going home which I took for granted.

What is home ? how is it different from the brick, mortar & wood work that constitute a house ?

Years ago, the priest who came to bless my parents house, reflected on the idea of home vs house. He described home as a place where we are loved, cherished and found comfort. It was more than the physical object. He exhorted on the importance of love.

And some (famous) people most famously said about the idea of home.

Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

 

Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action.

–Mother Teresa

Before anyone start scratching their head (or pull hairs) as to what this has to do with Lent or Holy week, let me get to the point.

We ARE the children of God, a God that has been desperately trying to get his disobedient, disgruntled, ungrateful kids back home, where they belong.

One of the defining ways in which the Christian notion of God contrasts with the gods portrayed in the other religions is, where as these religions describe man’s quest to find God, here we have a God that is doggedly following man, stalking and persuading shamelessly for us to return to him.

The scripture is strewn with many examples of this God’s desire to bring man back to his fold. For example, the parable of the prodigal son [ Luke 15:11-32 ] or that of the Lost sheep [ Luke 15:1-7 ]

Sending his beloved son to die on the cross in the most shameful and painful way was the ultimate act of that desire to bring us back home.

In the beginning of the last supper, we see Jesus himself playing the role of the host as an act of welcoming us home, when he was washing the feets of his disciples. The Israelites during the time of Jesus, like most others walked around in sandals outside and went barefoot inside the house. This constituted washing the feet necessary as one came into a home. So it was the first duty of host to give water to the guests to wash their feet.

The past five weeks, we have been on a spiritual journey of Lent.  As we prepare to finish this season of Lent  by reflecting on the passion of Jesus and move on to the joy of Easter, lets us not forget the mission of our Life’s journey.

So Let’s go home this Holy week in our hearts, to the home that Jesus has prepared for us. We have been prodigal sons and daughters, we have wandered far away from the flock and been lost because of our sins, so let’s go home home, back to our loving father and ask for forgiveness. For Jesus died for our sins to bring us back to the fold.

One of my favorite hymns of the season is “Lord, I’m coming home” by William J Kirkpatrick

I’ve wandered far away from God,

Now I’m coming home;

The paths of sin too long I’ve trod,

Lord, I’m coming home.

 

Refrain:

Coming home, coming home,

Nevermore to roam;

Open wide Thine arms of love,

Lord, I’m coming home.

 

I’ve wasted many precious years,

Now I’m coming home;

I now repent with bitter tears,

Lord, I’m coming home.

 

I’m tired of sin and straying, Lord,

Now I’m coming home;

I’ll trust Thy love, believe Thy word,

Lord, I’m coming home.

 

My soul is sick, my heart is sore,

Now I’m coming home;

My strength renew, my home restore,

Lord, I’m coming home.

 

My only hope, my only plea,

Now I’m coming home;

That Jesus died, and died for me,

Lord, I’m coming home.

 

I need His cleansing blood I know,

Now I’m coming home;

Oh, wash me whiter than the snow,

Lord, I’m coming home.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orN88xw119I

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