... you will ... return home to your own land.
Ezekiel 37:14 (New Living Translation)
How real these words are for me today. Touched down at JFK about ten after six this morning; received by Bro. Tim Jones, our province's vocation director, and brought to Saint Michael Friary in Brooklyn by seven-thirty. By 9:20 a.m., I was standing in the house where I grew up in Babylon, embracing my parents.
How sudden, this collision of worlds old and new, but how soft and gentle, too. Within the heart of every place I have been is an Israel, Egypt though it may be from appearances and in its lived reality.
After a late breakfast, Mass at noon at Our Lady of Grace Parish in West Babylon, where I met a few familiar and friendly faces, souls whose journey of faith will ever be entwined with mine.
Got an hour and a half of rest: try as I might, I could not sleep at all on the red-eye from LAX to JFK. This was not the fault of the environment: the cabin was dark and cool and quiet throughout. Just anticipation tensing the body longing for reunion with its place, I guess. I am neither a Westerner nor a midwesterner, though I could probably make a go of living on the West Coast (but not the Plains). But I know where my heart and soul live and thrive best, and I can feel the grounding begin even now.
Feeling thankful and heart-full. I need more rest, but I am sure it will come, even though the journey in the days ahead will remain busy.