By Fr. Christopher Foeckler, MJ • Phoenix, AZ

July is the month most often used for family vacations, as was my experience growing up. We were really blessed to be able to drive six hours to my maternal grandparents’ home in the countryside of western Pennsylvania to a small farming town with the endearing name of “Lone Pine”. We always looked forward to the visit with great anticipation! Not only would it be a personal reunion with our beloved grandparents whom we’d not seen all year, but it was a time filled with visits to other relatives’ homes and even a big all-day family reunion picnic. Even now, we still do family reunions and home visits during our vacation time. Being personally present to those we hold dear is so natural for us human beings. Phone calls and Zooms are helpful substitutes, but they can never fully replace the need to be with one another personally and face-to-face. In fact, the more dear someone is to us, the more we tend to want to stay in close, frequent contact. Obviously, with spouses and children, it has to be constant!

It occurred to me recently that this tendency to want to be together with, or present to, our loved ones is not simply a human characteristic, but is truly a Divine quality that we have learned from God! God the Son and the Holy Spirit are intimately united with God the Father in the one substance of the Divine Nature and, as such, the Three Persons do everything together! While Jesus was on earth for His mission to save us, He was constantly in communication with His Father in prayer as the Gospels tell us. In fact, Jesus’ main revelation was that He and the Father were One from the beginning and that He never did anything without the Father. Moreover, the culmination of the relationship with God that Jesus offered His disciples and all of us in the discourse at the Last Supper was that, if we loved Him and kept His commandments of love, He and the Father and the Holy Spirit would come and abide with us – dwell with us! Finally, the Holy Eucharist is the Lord’s very own miraculous gift of Himself to be present to us in every Mass and in every tabernacle of the world where His Body and Blood is reserved so we can go and be with Him. 

Heaven, it seems, is to be that celestial vacation where we have an eternal family reunion with the Most Holy Trinity, all the saints, and all of our loved ones among them! May we enjoy even more the family reunions we have this month as an anticipation of the Heavenly one! 

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