Home Is Where the Hard Is

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Mosaic of the exorcism of the Gerasene demoniac from the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, dating to the sixth century AD. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

“Go home to your family.” The wandering, wailing man possessed by unclean spirits had a family. When Jesus drove out the Legion that tormented him, he did not allow the man to stay with him. Instead, he sent him home to his family.

The first reading and psalm, where King David’s adversaries include his own beloved son, present us with a difficult portrait of a political family. Perhaps the man healed by Jesus will find his own family distressed and divided like David’s? Perhaps there will be wounds to open and clean and bandage and, in time, heal?

The universal Church is a family. In Christ, we are kin to all. When we are freed by Christ, we may rightly want to proclaim this liberation to all the nations, but the province of our immediate home cannot be neglected. We live in biblical times, difficult times, times of division and distress. Our churches and homes are bitterly divided. We may cry out to the Lord like David, but we also must realize, as David did, that those who curse us may not be ours to judge. Jesus came as the root of Jesse, in the family of David, not only to redeem that troubled house of Kings, but also to set free everyone who is wandering and lost. When we enjoy this freedom, we are commanded to return home to our troubled families “and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done.”

© Liturgical Press.

Sam Rocha

Sam Rocha teaches at the University of British Columbia. For more, see his website: www.samrocha.com.

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