On the Feast of All Saints, my mother-in-law (who many of you read about in “Being Away from the Eucharist,” and then you cheered with us when we found out, the next day, about “The Eucharist in Her Sights“), after going to confession earlier in the day, received the Body and Blood of Jesus for the first time since she was married in April.

The heavens rejoiced, and so did I. I’m pretty sure at least a few saints were dancing a jig (or was that my daughter, trying to crawl around under the chairs?). A few friends have asked me, with tears lurking in their eyes, if they saw correctly that she went up to communion. The example she has set, in ways she does not fully appreciate, is a net of teaching for the entire parish. We are a small parish, and she’s very active (and very outgoing – when she sees a stranger, she’s right there, shaking their hand and saying she’s the “parish secretary’s mother-in-law”).

Seeing her joyful tears, and feeling my own, made me think about just how very much He has changed my life. MIL commented more than once that if she had known how hard it would be to be away from the Eucharist, she would not have gotten married. God’s plan, though, might have been to make her an example for us, a model to follow, just like the Blessed Mother and countless other women, so many of whom are in my life, who carry their burdens with joy, because it is Jesus’ will.

Even though she never really left, I can’t help but think a “welcome home” is in order. I can’t help but think of the feast that awaits those who come home, who have been away for whatever reason. I can’t help but think that we all have ways in which we can come home, closer to our Lord.