Dust flew yesterday at Mom’s place, and I was secretly grateful for the airborne irritants.
Grateful, because the musty primordial particles provided cover of sorts for the tears that insisted on welling up in my eyes throughout the afternoon.
If all goes according to plan, you see, “Mom’s place” ceases to be “her” place this week. We’re packing up and moving her from the house that she’s called home for 60+ years. The place, I suppose, that I’ll always think of as “home.” My rock, my shelter.
As moving day approaches, I realize a big part of me doesn’t want to lose this place.
It’s an irrational attachment on many levels. I haven’t actually lived there since the 1970s. And the care and upkeep have become a notable burden—mostly on Mom, but also on her offspring. We’ve all got places of our own today…so there’s little time or energy left over to pour into her place on a regular basis.
Still, the attachment remains. The memories come flooding back whenever I walk through the front door. But soon enough, that feeling of welcome will be no more. At least not for me and my family—although I pray the place will bless the new owners as much as it has blessed us through the decades.
I wonder what it will be like to turn over the keys.
I suspect it will be heart-wrenching.
And I wonder, too, what must have been going through Jesus’ heart – as he put an enormously more-precious asset into Peter’s hands. We hear about that transaction in the gospel at Mass this week:
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.
Surely, the Lord Jesus must love this ‘kingdom of heaven’ as much as I love the home of my youth. Yet he doesn’t seem to hesitate to turn things over to Peter.
Rather, he empties himself of the need to possess. He freely distributes the power and the glory. Kenosis, the theologians call it.
I’m seeing this week how it can be a very difficult lesson to master. A tough task to embrace. But we do need to let go, don’t we?
In fact, the process may itself be a key to the kingdom.
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.