We do not know her name, or even her daughter’s. We only know her son-in-law. He left everything to follow Jesus. He went with our Lord through every town and village without the wife he married, the home they built and the family they had. His name was Peter. But now, it was time to go back home. Somebody close to him was sick with high fever. It was his mother-in-law.
Mothers-in-law have been the brunt of jokes since the beginning of time. It was said that Adam and Eve had it easy because they didn’t have a mother-in-law. It was also reported falsely that the reason Peter denied knowing Jesus was because Jesus healed his mother-in-law.
But, Peter must have loved his mother-in-law. Otherwise, he would not have brought Jesus. Perhaps Peter must have told them previously about the carpenter from
. Perhaps he sent word to them that Jesus was the Messiah and the reason why he left them all behind. So Peter brought Jesus home. Nazareth
Whenever we have a life-changing moment like Peter had, there is no delay in introducing that person to our loved ones and members of our family. There is no hesitation to share whenever we are in love.
This is what happens when Jesus fills us and our lives. We bring him to people close to us. He is not just confined in the church where we worship. He is not just trapped in the expressions of our faith. He is not just limited by the interpretation of our creed. We bring Him home.
Home is where the heart is. Home is where love is because life goes on in the comforts of a home.
I got recently an email from a friend and it says, “Dear Father, It all began with an iPhone. March was when our son celebrated his 17th birthday, and we got him an iPhone. He just loved it. Who wouldn't? I celebrated my birthday in July, and my wife made me very happy when she bought me an iPad. Our daughter's birthday was in August so we got her an iPod Touch. My wife celebrated her birthday in September so I got her an iRon. It was around then that the fight started. What my wife failed to recognize – and I kindly pointed it out to her - is that the iRon can be integrated into the home network with the iWash, iCook and iClean. This inevitably activates the iNag reminder service. I should be out of the hospital next week! PS: iHurt!”
If there is division and conflict in our families, it might be because we have not brought Jesus home. If we are saddled by pains and problems, burdened by troubles and tribulations and hampered by trials and misfortunes, we might as well bring Jesus home. If there is somebody sick in our family, if there is somebody we want healed in our homes, if there is somebody close to us who needs to be cured and cleansed from our imperfect world, we have to bring Jesus home just like Peter did.
If it is not Jesus we bring home, then who do we bring with us? Is it the same person who goes to Mass every week but does not take the essence of the Mass when he goes home? Is it the same person who brings his weekly sacrifice through his envelopes but does not bring back the sacrifice, who is Jesus, during the week? Is it the same person who contributes to the church regularly but is not changed and challenged by what he prayed for and believed?
If it is not Jesus we bring home, then what are we bringing? Is it the same drudgeries of life and burdens at work? Those endless busy-ness of our businesses, competitions in our corporations and companies, jibber-jabbers of our jobs?
There is no solution to the problems of the world, unless we first find the solution to our problems at home. We will find it hard to solve the difficulties we have at work, unless we confront the difficulties we find in our own families. We will not be able to answer the questions of our lives, unless we face the question of our hearts.
Home is where love is supposed to dwell. And home is where God is because God gave us our homes that we may find there our hearts. Take it from the example of Peter. He knew that something was not right and normal at home. He did the right thing. He brought with him home Jesus.
5 February 2012