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Monday, July 1, 1996

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Bl. Junipero Serra

Amos 2:6-10, 13-16
Psalm 50
Matthew 8:18-22

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going home is for the homeless

"The Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." —Matthew 8:20

Everyone needs a place to call home. "Life's prime needs are water, bread, and clothing, a house, too, for decent privacy" (Sir 29:21). We all need a place to rest our heads. Having a home is a basic human need.

This fact helps us recognize the radicalness of Jesus' proclamation to His disciples: "The foxes have lairs, the birds in the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head" (Mt 8:20). Jesus calls His disciples to live not only on the edge but over the edge. He calls us to be radical witnesses to the fact that our home is in heaven and we can be nothing other than aliens on earth (see 1 Pt 2:11). In this spirit, Paul, in contrast with Sirach, did not mention a home as a basic need. He told Timothy and all of us: "If we have food and clothing we have all that we need" (1 Tm 6:8).

Yes, we all need a home and a place to rest our heads, but this home and this place is not on earth but in heaven (see Heb 4:1ff). The writer of Hebrews teaches all disciples of Jesus: "By acknowledging themselves to be strangers and foreigners on the earth, they showed that they were seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking back to the place from which they had come, they would have had the opportunity of returning there. But they were searching for a better, a heavenly home" (Heb 11:13-16). Some of Jesus' disciples are called to be homeless in a radical, prophetic way. Others must detach themselves from their home. Renounce your earthly home and be homeless (Lk 14:33). Then you can go home.

Prayer:  Father, make me a homeless home-body.

Promise:  "Teacher, wherever You go I will come after You." —Mt 8:19

Praise:  Junipero left his "home" to lead 6000 native Americans to their true home.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 29, 1995

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 4, 1995