O the wonders of the quick getaway… a day trip, overnight… even two days. It can be so great to just get out of Dodge… especially when “Dodge” is DC. I love our city… and calling it home frames our sense of who we are as citizens, neighbors, workers, politicos, whatever. Ironically, the very place that fosters our identity can also make us forget who we are. Pressure from work, commuting, even the rigors of keeping up with our own social lives… We can get overwhelmed.
Writing from a quick vacation of my own to the Eastern Shore, I’m amazed at what just two days away can do. The weather’s been cold but bright. The scenery is beautiful (see the included photos), and the food is great. I expected all that. The surprise has been that the staff here at the hotel remember my name. In the dining room, sitting in the library to read, or just walking down the hall past a porter; it’s nice to be known, but also gets me thinking about a very Biblical question, “Who am I?” The Bible is replete with people being named, by their parents, by God. Sometimes people get new names to match a new mission.
Catholics are invited to think of one name before all others: the Holy Name of Jesus… and He is LOVE, totally self-sacrifiial LOVE. That’s important, because it is the love of Christ filling us which fills our names with their greatest meaning. We are the beloved of God. Our response to that love is the stuff of our lives as parents, priests, professionals… our response to that love gives meaning to our names. Sometimes, going away from home, even for just two days offers the space to actively receive God’s love in a renewed way. Recharged by that love, our names take on renewed meaning making it easier to return to and enjoy our home.