By: Ivonne J. Hernandez
If you ever watch people at the airport, you can easily guess who is a frequent traveler and who is not. Those who travel often seem to carry less stuff with them. They zoom past the security check point and quickly grab a cab at their destination, while the rest of us are waiting in the baggage claim line. Young people going on an adventure also travel light. The term “hauling luggage through Europe” just doesn’t have the same ring as “backpacking through Europe.” How come some people can travel for months with only a backpack while others need to check two huge bags for a weekend trip? It probably depends on what will be provided during the journey and at the destination, and how attached a person is to their stuff.
We are often very attached to our stuff, and not only material things, but other things as well. We are attached to places, to people, to our way of seeing things, and to our way of doing things. We carry around so much baggage, baggage from our past, and extra baggage for the future “just in case we need it.” All this makes our journey through this earthly life cumbersome. What if we trusted that God will provide for all that we need? What if we let go of what is holding us back from following Jesus? Instead of walking away sad like the rich young man (Mt 19:22), we might see the richness God has for us right here, right now. If we looked up for a minute from all the stuff that keeps us busy, we might see Jesus loving us from the Blessed Sacrament, telling us He is all that we need, telling us that whatever circumstance God is allowing in our lives at this moment is for our good, and that if we let Him, He will guide us home.
During the month of November, we turn our attention in a special way towards our final destination, our true home, Heaven. We remember our loved ones who have gone before us; we pray for those in Purgatory and ask for the intercession of those in Heaven. By reminding us that we are pilgrims on a journey, that the things of this world shall pass, we are invited to let go of the heavy baggage holding us back so that one day we can “enter through the narrow gate” (Mt 7:13), to the road that leads to life.