Home! Think of that word and its uses. Home Free. E.T., phone home! “I’ll be home for Christmas.” Home is where the heart is.
Ideally, home is a place of safety and acceptance. A place where we discover who we are, or can be who we are, without the pressure of having to prove ourselves or be judged in the same way we are at school or at work or even sometimes at play; a place where we do things and help out not for reward or to gain love but because we belong. A place where the routine of daily life and mealtimes and
bedtimes and the more special ways this family celebrates birthdays and holidays brings security and a sense of well-being simply because those are our rituals; a place where smells and sights and sounds are comforting because they are so familiar. In reality, for some home is a place they want to be from, not going to. Not all have that secure harbor of refuge. But, we all search for such a place and try to create it, if not for ourselves, then for the next generation.
May this place, our parish, be one such harbor for each and all:
- a safe place of acceptance, not judgment;
- a refuge where when we are here we can be ourselves, without feeling the need to compete or impress;
- a place where we help because we belong; it is ours;
- a place from which we can reach out to others with the confidence of being listened to and valued;
- a place where the familiar people, sights, sounds and the routine of ritual both shape and comfort us.
An ideal? Yes! A possibility? Yes, again. Each of us creates that atmosphere of welcome just as each of us is welcomed by others. Each awaits others in their return and today each of us returns as well. Welcome home.