Day 22 – The Father's Covenant vs. The World's Empty Promises




Yesterday we said that our earthly pilgrimage is in fact our journey back to the Father's House. We also described how treacherous and full of dangers this homecoming trip can be. Imagine how the younger son left home "rich", and after squandering all his inheritance, he found himself empty, wasted, defeated…returning home broken and "stripped". Beauty and glory no more. In such a vulnerable condition, we can easily fall prey to the devil's traps. During this time, Jesus is our anchor, and our brothers and sisters in Christ, that is our Church community, is our refuge. Our Church is the vessel that will eventually bring us back to the Father's place, safe and sound. And Jesus is the head of our Mother Church, the Body of Christ. Jesus, our Saviour, is the bridge between heaven and earth, the mediator between God and humans. His role in this homecoming trip is irreplaceable!

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where I am going you know the way." Thomas said to him, "Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him."

(John 14:1-7)

Jesus shows us the way back to the Father's House. Jesus is the WAY.

While Satan leads us astray to our distant country, Jesus, the Good Shepherd brings us back home. As Satan tries to attack us along the way, Jesus offers His own life to save us. This is the Lord that we have!

His mercy should subdue the doubting Thomas in us. He is the Light, that is, the TRUTH, that shines on our path, and He gave us His very own LIFE to restore ours! What else should we yearn for in our lives except for this sweet Jesus? What is worth more in our lives than this Saviour? Who else can we count on as we make our way home to our Father in heaven?

Our distant country is also our comfort zone. We dare not leave our comfort zone for fear of facing challenges in an unknown territory.

Yet, we have no choice but to start this journey, treacherous as it is, that will lead us back to our permanent home. Our distant country will one day fade away. It is an illusion created by the Devil. The longer we remain in our distant country, the more we become weary, frail, and alienated from God. Our broken physical and spiritual conditions will make it harder for us to muster up the courage to set off on our journey home, and make our chances of arriving home safe slimmer.

What this world can offer us will eventually dry up. On the other hand, endless joy awaits us in our Father's House. Let us not sacrifice heaven for hell.

Remember, Jesus has promised His disciples that there are many dwelling places in His Father's House and He is going to prepare a place for us! This promise of Jesus should not be taken lightly! He means what He says!

The hardships in returning home are much easier to bear than the perpetual emptiness in our distant country and eternal separation from the source of all goodness, our Heavenly Father!

As you can see in the last couple of days, the short verse in Luke 15:20, “So, he got up and went back to his father” involves much more than we thought. We need to take heart as we embark on this journey home. The earlier we set off, the sooner we will return home safe to enjoy the festive celebration the Father has already prepared for us.


Go deep into your heart to feel Jesus' compassionate love for us, and Satan's craftiness.

Do you believe what Jesus said is true, that He is preparing a place for us in our Father's House? Does this make you more determined to return to your Father's House?

Are you still clinging to your comfort zone and holding back from returning home to the Father?


Dear Abba Father, I feel that a lot of attachments in my life are holding me back from going back to You without reserve. I know my condition has pierced Your Heart. I am like the rich young man in the Gospel. I know You are good and You love me, and I even know that I should turn to You and follow You. Yet I lack the willpower and the determination to let go of all my attachments and dreams that prevent me from following You and responding to Your love. Help me to be released from all these bondages. Set me free from my cares and my comfort zone so that I can embrace You into my life.

I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

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Sincerely invite you to share the reflections that inspires you by this day's retreat.