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Jesus is my home
Looking ahead with hope to 2023
With the close of one year comes the advent of a new one—and 2022 was truly a year of adventure.
I still remember January 1, 2022. We had received a lot of snow in the days before it, so my sister and I took a walk in the snow, to Starbucks, and naturally took a few photos. It was a gorgeous day.
All at once, that day feels like yesterday and more than a year ago, a testament to the weird phenomenon that we call time. And in between January 1 and December 31, so much has happened.
When I look back on this year, what comes to mind is this: It was a year of a lot of movement. While I was going all over the place, all these movements—both internally and externally—were all leading to the same place, and that is Jesus Himself. Around this time last year, I was really reflecting on this idea of Jesus drawing me to Himself (cf. John 12:32), and as the year progressed, every passing day was a day closer to a new challenge and reality for me.
As many of you know, this past (Canadian) Thanksgiving I entered with the Daughters of St. Paul. After 25 years of living in the same place, the invitation came shortly before my 26th birthday to consider uprooting myself and moving to a new country to live with a community of women and discern religious life. It occurred to me recently that on April 9 of this year, I left for Boston to do an eight day live-in with the Daughters of St. Paul over Holy Week. Six months later, on October 9, I would arrive in St. Louis to literally “live-in” with the Daughters of St. Paul to begin formation. Many of you also know that I find these dated “coincidences” (or “God-cidences”, as my Mom would say) to be quite delightful, and indeed ordained by the Lord.
Hilariously, after a very trying time with cancelled flights and the stress of finding a replacement flight on the night I was supposed to leave for Alexandria, VA, this past July, I remember vividly the frustration and anger I felt over my situation as I was in the backseat of my parents’ car, on the way to the airport. Dear Jesus, I pray that I never have to get on another flight again, I fumed. May the next flight after this trip be a one-way to St. Louis!
Needless to say, God made good on that promise.
While my time in formation so far has been beautiful, joy-filled, and truly a work of God, I won’t gloss over the fact that it has also been challenging and at times painful—painful because there are many times where I miss the people I love, the way I used to live my life, the familiarity of my surroundings, and the simple fact that back home, I know there are mountains nearby. In a word, I miss home.
For Christmas, my formator gave me a really beautiful gift: A little statue of baby Jesus, with an accompanying message to bringing Him with me wherever I go—for wherever He is, there is home. And Jesus, who is the Word made flesh, God-with-us, who was denied a place to stay, desires to make His home in me and you. And so, it has been a beautiful reminder that home is never too far away, because Jesus unites Himself to me—a sinner—every time I receive Him in the Eucharist. Home is in me at all times.
And so, as we embark on a new year, I hope to remember that simple fact: That wherever I go, whether near or far, Jesus is never far from me. He draws me to Himself and desires to be at home in me. That is my prayer for all of you as well!
May the year of our Lord, 2023, bring you happiness, light, joy, and most of all, the peace that only He can give. Here’s to finding our home in Him, and in turn, creating a home for Him to inhabit in each of us.
In Jesus, Divine Master,