Do you ever feel a homesickness? A yearning for home? I was reminded of my spiritual homesickness recently, and believe it points to an important insight about Advent.
I was at St. Paul Shrine, one of my favorite churches in the city, where there is the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament every day. I was sitting there staring at the Blessed Sacrament one Saturday. My head hurt and I felt weak and tired, so I laid my head on the side of the pew. I felt nestled and at home with Christ in this moment. I went home yearning for that moment again. I felt a homesickness for the presence of God.
Then one Sunday I was doing various everyday chores like meal prep for the week, mopping, and laundry. and I felt an intense desire for communion with God. It was a yearning to set it all aside, pray and be with God. A longing to be close -- homesickness for the presence of God.
I have noticed this same homesickness in some of my relationships too, especially where I feel the Lord very present and working. I walk away from those interactions filled, astounded, joyful, peaceful, and renewed, but then I feel a homesickness to feel the presence of God within that relationship again and again. There is always the desire to be in complete communion with others.
Then there are other moments where I feel a similar homesickness for a Savior, a Redeemer, a Healer, an Ultimate Friend -- all of the things Jesus is and why He came to us.
Where there is the presence of God, where there is healing and salvation, where there is pure companionship and love, where there is communion and authenticity with other souls, we yearn for more of it. We are homesick for our true home which embodies all of this.
Advent is that waiting to come home to the presence of God. It’s the waiting for our completeness that will come through Christ’s presence in the world. It’s waiting for our true home when He comes again. And what I know about waiting is that it often feels like homesickness -- a missing and an emptiness waiting to be filled again -- waiting for complete communion.
So let your homesickness this Advent draw you further into yearning for the presence of your God, help you find ‘tastes’ of it in your midst through communion with God and others, and give you hope in the completeness and fullness you will finally feel when He comes again.