How simple our journey to God would be if we just remembered the really important messages Jesus came to tell us.
There is a scene where Charlie Brown and Snoopy are looking up at a starry night. Charlie Brown says, “Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy.”
Now how many stars do we have looking down on us? How many loved ones who have finished the journey and are cheering for us through those openings which we keep forgetting about?
Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself” (John 14:3). And Jesus said, “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20).
Our journey of Faith should be an easy one. We should trust the memory of the “Faith of our Fathers” experience. We go toward that “open door” as pilgrims from another world journeying towards our eternal home.
The Gospel hymn “Going Home” says it sweetly:
“Going home, going home
I'm just going home…
It's not far, just close by
Through an open door.”
But we forget so easily. Work, money, pleasure and just business distract us so that we lose sight of it all. We forget to tell our loved ones about the wonders of God.
If we are not offering our children the same faith experience we had, chances are good they will not have strength of faith and the assurance of God’s love.
We walk the same trails the saints before us did. Their dust is on our shoes. Only the earth and the sky seem permanent. We pay a tourists dollar to see the holy lands, make the pilgrimages, walk the El Camino trail.
And then the distractions of cancer, arthritis, pain and old age catch us up. And still God is with us. Love stays constant. We see a loved one home to God. Our sweetest songs are indeed those that tell of saddest thoughts.
Let us not forget the dreams of our young hearts, when we knew love in our childhood families. At the end of our lives we expect the sweet reward of home:
“Momma's there expecting me
Papa's waiting, too
Lots of folk gathered there
All the friends I knew.” (from “Going Home”)
Jesus came to take us out of this world; to save us for another world. “They do not belong to the world anymore than I belong to the world.” (John 17:14). And so we became more than the dust of Adam and Eve.
Fr. Brendan McGuire describes a walk along a sandy beach: “While I was walking along there I stopped and I glanced back and I realised all my footprints had all been washed away by the waves of the ocean, and as the water receded, it would eventually completely wipe my footprints clear so you would never even know that I had been there.”
“God's mercy,” McGuire says, wipes away our sins and restores us to wholeness again. We would never realise this unless we turn around and look back, turn toward God. The “waves of mercy and God’s forgiveness” restore us to natural beauty once again.
God is love. Jesus came to fill us with God. And nothing is the same.