What is a home? When you think of the word or image or idea of a home, what comes to mind? Some say home is where the heart is. Others say home is where you hang your hat. Robert Frost once wrote, “Home is the place, where when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” 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.
“To feel at home.” It’s a lovely phrase. It also expresses the deepest longings of the human heart. St. Augustine gave famous 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.
In our gospel for today, we hear words that speak directly to the longing of the human heart for a home. Jesus says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may also be.”
Jesus assures them that even though their relationship is changing, it is not ending. Even though he will no longer be with them in the flesh, they will remain connected. Jesus is going to prepare a place for them in his Father’s house, where they will remain united to him forever, “so that where I am, there you may be also.” Our true home is with God, in God’s heart. Our true home, ultimately, is not a place, but a relationship, a relationship in the very heart of God, made possible by Christ.
Even now we can experience a foretaste of this eternal home. When we do the works that Christ commands us to do, when we love one another as Christ loved us and gave himself for us, then God’s love will dwell in us, then God’s love will make a home in us. When the brokenhearted are comforted, then God will make a home with us. When people lay down their lives for one another, then God will make a home with us. When all of God’s children are invited to God’s table to share in his body and blood, then God will make a home with us.