When asked what heaven will be like, an American bishop wrote of his first visit to his parents’ native village in Italy. Because he had seen pictures of it for years, everything looked familiar to him when he arrived in person. “I know this place,” he thought. “I am finally at home.” He hoped that he would feel the same way- that he was finally at home- upon entering heaven.
Heaven is indeed our true home, as Jesus explained in today’s gospel. He was speaking during the Last Supper with his disciples, who were troubled that he was soon to leave them. Jesus soothed their fears by explaining that his departure was a good thing, because he was going to prepare a place for them in heaven. Yet he would return one day to take them to their heavenly home- the Father’s house
There is room for us in the Father’s house, too. This is hope for us when life gets hard. It reminds us that we’ve not yet arrived at our final destination, as this life is but a way station to a “better place.” As he did with his disciples, Jesus tells us not to worry, because regardless of where this life takes us, we are always “homeward bound.”