The past year of my life has been an adventure. I have been in more places the last twelve months than I had been in the first twelve years of my life.
I have road tripped all the way up and down the east coast, flown west for the summer, traveled to Haiti, and Texas and Wisconsin, not to mention Georgia where I have officially lived and Missouri where my family still lives.
Don’t get me wrong: it has been one of the biggest blessings of my first year of missions. I love to travel and to meet new people, but the gift of movement has also been a challenge.
I don’t see family and friends for months at time. My clothes are folded in my suitcase as often as they hang in my closet. Different time zones have me waking up at all hours of the night and day. Many of the external things that would give a sense of rhythm and center to my life (my own schedule, my weekly dinners with friends) just simply are not present in my life right now.
The reality of this gave me two options: either give into the feeling of aimlessness and homelessness or find something in my life that would never go away and cling to that.
And, for me, what I have clung to in the midst all the traveling and all the time zones and all the people that have come in and out of my life, is Christ: Christ fully present in the Eucharist.
Wherever I am, I can walk into a church, sit in front of the tabernacle, and be home. I can find Jesus in any city or country I may pass through, not just through the beauty around me, or the people I meet, or in my own prayer. I can be with Christ: Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, through the Blessed Sacrament living in the tabernacles of every Catholic Church.
Christ himself, dwelling in the tabernacle has become my home.
Like the line from the song “Home,” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros says so beautifully, “Home is wherever I’m with you.” Home is wherever I am with Christ.
Now, this time of year is a time of transition for all of us. You may be going back to school, moving away from home to go to college, taking on a new leadership position at work or school or a sports team or club. Or maybe you are just preparing to return to a “normal” schedule after the summer. I myself am preparing to begin my second year of missions by moving to Houston, Texas.
Whatever is going on in your life right now, you may be feeling a little lost, a little lonely.
This is my challenge for you: next time you feel this way, find the nearest Catholic Church. Go inside. Sit in one of the pews. Pray. Ask Christ to be your comfort during this time. And listen as He welcomes you home.