Monday – 22nd Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel – Luke 4:16-30
Mt. Precipice, Outside
A father passing by his teenage son’s room was astonished to see that his bed was neatly made and everything picked up off the floor. Then he saw the envelope propped up prominently on the pillow. With a sickening feeling he moved in closer to investigate. The letter was addressed to him. With the worst premonition, he opened the envelope with trembling hands to read what was within.
It is with great regret and sorrow that I’m writing you. I had to elope with my new girlfriend, because I wanted to avoid a scene with Mom and you. I’ve been finding real passion with Stacy, and she is so nice. However, I knew you would not approve of her because of her piercings, tattoos, and tight motorcycle clothes. Also, she is so much older than me. Stacy said that we will be very happy. She owns a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter. Don’t worry, Dad. I’m 15, and I know how to take care of myself. Someday, I’m sure we’ll be back to visit, so you can get to know your many grandchildren.
P.S. Dad, none of the above is true. I’m over at Jason’s house. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than the school report card that’s under my pillow. Call me when it’s safe for me to come home!
We can only imagine the “homecoming” that awaits Joshua when he finally comes home! I’m guessing we all have had a moment when we had to face our dad after screwing something up, times when we failed and had to answer for our failure. I remember just after getting my license, coming home and pulling into the driveway and denting both of the family cars all at once. It was not a pleasant homecoming or conversation with my father.
But there were also plenty of times when the homecoming was one of joy not fear! Times when I would come home from a year away at college, or that first visit after we married or after that first child, times of love and laughter. For me, those were also opportunities for me to work side by side with my dad in his little country store – ringing up customers, stocking shelves, pumping gas. And then we’d spend Sundays playing softball or just throwing the ball around. No matter when we would come home – we would greet each other at the door, sit down for some conversation and then move to the dining room table to share a meal. That’s what homecoming means.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus comes home! And it is not pleasant! Not the best of homecomings! They drive Him out of the synagogue, out of the town. They take Him to the brow of the hill (Mt. Precipice) and prepare to throw Him off. But He passes through their midst and makes the choice not to return again. But what’s significant is this – when He does go home, where does He go? He goes to the synagogue, not His family home or Joseph’s shop. He goes home to the house of His Father where He preaches and teaches.
Our church, our parish, our faith, is our home, our spiritual home! We are all one family of God our Father! We call God Our Father – He raised us up out of the dust of the earth, He cares for us, He nurtures us, He guides us and helps us grow, He does all he can to prepare us for the Kingdom of Heaven where one day He will welcome us HOME!!!