go home

Mar 11, 2024


I’m not a biblical scholar, but for decades now my daily life has been immersed in the scriptures both in preparation for preaching as I try to come up with something encouraging to share in a homily or a FFF reflection, and at other times as a word or two from the scriptures sticks in my mind, ignores its context. and speaks to me personally and powerfully.

In preparation for these posts as in my preaching I am pretty careful about making sure that I am communicating what Jesus intends to communicate.

But a person of prayer will also let Jesus speak directly and powerfully and every now and then just one word is enough.

In today’s gospel a court official comes to Jesus asking: ‘come and cure my son who is at the point of death.‘

Jesus responds to him: “Go home, your son will live.”

It was just two of those words that spoke to me: “Go home.”

I smiled at first since at the moment I am in Melbourne leading a retreat for a community of Religious sisters. Yes, when the retreat finishes I will head home to Christchurch, but the message of Jesus is deeper, more than a simple instruction to get back to my own house.

Instead it’s got something to do with the well-known proverb: “home is where the heart is.”

So where is my heart? Unfortunately the honest answer is that most days my heart is a bit divided, scattered, and all over the place,

But every human heart has a default setting and (in the well-known words of Augustine) our hearts are restless until they rest in God. Our default setting is God.

So when I hear Jesus say to the court official “Go home”, I know what Jesus is saying: your home is where your heart is, and your heart is rightly with your son. If you go home to where he is you will witness the miracle for which you have asked.

It’s significant too that while the official left home seeking the miracle, his home was the place where the miracle happened.

Perhaps this is because home is the place where we are most ourselves, honest, unpretentious, grounded?

And Jesus has made his home with us.

When we are at home with Jesus we will experience his miracles.


FFF IN THE CAFE…a chance to chat about your experience of God in your life. Send your name and the name of a cafe or bar to john@fff.org.nz Scribble FFF on a table napkin, take a seat and wait.

Join these gatherings:

TODAY Monday 11 March 2024  10.00am (& every Monday). Moku Cafe. Bush Inn Centre, Waimairi Road,  Christchurch. Trish

TODAY Monday 11 March 2024  11.00am.  California Garden Centre, 316 Waiwhetu Rd, Lower Hutt (Glass House Cafe). Catherine

TODAY Monday 11 March 2024  5.00pm Devon on the Wharf, Devonport, 1 Queens Parade, Devonport.  Kate & Francesca.

TODAY Monday 11 March 2024  5.00pm Devon on the Wharf, Devonport, 1 Queens Parade, Devonport.  Kate & Francesca.

Friday 15 March 2024  10.00am. Stumble Inn, 200 Mangorei Road, Merrilands, New Plymouth.  Joan

Email me to add another: john@fff.org.nz


  1. Thanks John. Truly beautiful.How blest we are to have a physical place to call home. I am currently reflecting on those whose homes have been destroyed and or those who have been displaced. It is a great thing therefore that Jesus makes his home in us….so that wherever we are, he is with us ‘ in our shared home’ be that in the sanctuary of our hearts or in the blessing of a physical dwelling.

  2. I loved this reflection. It made me think about all my homes! But I came back to God first and foremost and then my family. Home is where the heart is and my heart is with God and my family. Siblings, in laws, children etc.
    Thank you John. I hope your retreat goes well.

  3. A good reason too to ensure no one in New Zealand is without a place of shelter to call home.

  4. I have often found, that a scripture reading though heard many times, will suddenly hit you in the head with a bit of 3 x 2.

  5. Thank you Father John.
    “Our hearts are restless until they rest in God. Our default setting is God.” These phrases are so beautiful, so inspiring that in all the midst of worldly restlessness, there is our God where we can find solace and comfort. Our home!


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