By: Fr. Roy Cimagala

IT’S always a happy occasion or, at least, one that is full of emotions. And even if we have mixed feelings about it, we would still look forward to homecoming, since it reminds us of the past, of a sense of togetherness and shared experiences, of our origins. Homecomings are actually a necessity for us. Its immediate effect is undoubtedly one of joy and thanksgiving as we reconnect with familiar faces.

It brings back memories, insights, precious lessons learned, and many other things, happy and sad, that occurred between the past and the present. The road to the present, marked with lights and shadows, has given us a good, meaningful journey. Life may have led us to different and separate ways, but we are still together as one family, one clan, one class.

And regardless of how our accounting of things turn out, whether it is in the black or in the red, a win or a loss in human terms, we would still be happy and thankful because what matters is that, once upon a time and in varying periods of time, we have lived with others who are close to us and with whom we have some intimate relations—our parents, brothers and sisters, relatives, classmates, teachers, friends, etc.

We can never fully account the value they have added to our life. We know by some mysterious ways that they have helped in shaping us the way we are today. We know that God is always in control of things and would know how to derive good even from evil. And so, even if we have experienced some negative things by the hands of others, we still know that with God everything will work out for the good.

We just have to make sure that our homecomings are not simply an exercise of nostalgia and mere sentimentalism. They, the homecomings, have a significance that is truly important to all of us. That’s because, in the end, they remind us that we all come from God, our Father and Creator. He is the origin of our togetherness, the pattern, the power and also the end or purpose of our unity.

The homecomings are a good reminder that we are and should be together in our continuing journey toward our ultimate end who is God himself, who made us to be his image and likeness, and wants us to share his very life. Yes, the homecomings remind us that we need each other, and that we are, with God, responsible for one another.

The homecomings are a good reminder that we need to help one another in this universally common journey of ours. They remind us that there is a continuum among the past, the present, and the future, and eventually, eternity with God. Our life here on earth is the time God uses to carry out his delicate task of creating and redeeming us. It is a divine initiative that requires our full but free and loving correspondence.

The homecomings also remind us that the way we perform in our temporal life here on earth determines the kind of eternity we will have. So we need to be keen with regard to the great responsibility we have in our hands. They remind us that we be faithful to our commitments and everything else that such fidelity would require.

They are a good occasion to make some kind of accounting and examination of conscience, to know where we are progressing and where we are retrogressing. Let us never miss this aspect of the homecomings. We should come out of them refreshed and renewed, with a clearer vision and stronger impulse to reach our goals.

The homecomings should strengthen our sense of togetherness and of our common and mutual duties and responsibilities for one another. These should be consequences after every homecoming.

Email: roycimagala@gmail.com