Year 134 - May 2022

Religion at home

Fr. Livio Tonello, director

Over these recent months we have rediscovered an important dimension of faith by supporting it at home during the Covid pandemic when we could not attend church regularly. We can affirm that it was a time of grace, although with a lot of suffering, because we could live and practice our faith not only bounded by the community life and not only by attending Sunday Mass.

The “home celebrations” have enlightened many aspects of our Christian identity and have deepened the meaning of “the common priesthood”. It has been an exercise of freedom and of responsibility by living the offer of our existences in the dimension of the daily life. In the Jewish tradition the home is the privileged place where to grow in the light of faith and where to testify and celebrate the memory of the salvation offered by God.

The home is the place where to live and to celebrate Yahweh’ liberation work. Jesus accomplished his mission not only in the streets, in the synagogue or in the temple: The Gospel comes into history through the homes: the house of Nazareth where Jesus grows up, the homes he is invited into: Martha, Mary and Zacchaeus welcome him amicably to share food and the word, he enters homes where he performs healing miracles; homes are the places of banquets and the Last Supper too takes place in a home.

The first Christian communities considered their homes as the Holy Spirit’s place where to evangelise and pray as we read in the Acts of the Apostles. We recall the “meeting houses” placed at the disposal of communities by well-to-do members: a spacious room served as a chamber of worship in the homes of Aquila and Priscilla, on Nimpha in Laodicea, of Lydia in Philippi, of Chloe and Stephanas.

It is not just a “house” as a meeting place but it is the family’s place including relatives, slaves, paid-workers and sometimes collaborators and partners. Nowadays a home is the place of affection, the space of intimacy where we are born (native house) and where we acquire our identity and where we are prepared for life. Far from idealising it, it can also be a place of tension, of conflicts that sometimes can lead to psychological and psychical violence.

Any how the home is very important to us, it is treasured as an anchor of our existence, a supporting environment in which to grow up and discover ourselves. So, the making of our homes as a holy place for worship and where God’s word resounds has really been a gift and this experience must not end when the pandemic is over. Necessity has made us aware that, as for Jesus, also for Christians there are no sacred places and profane places, sacred actions and profane actions, consecrated and non-consecrated people.

Every thing is at the presence of the holiness of God’s love. New words will rise from home prayers to renew our commitment to our faith in this time of Easter. New words to express our difficulties, our hope, our wishes and to invoke God’s blessing and loving gaze.

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