You have heard what Christ prayed for, what he desired: “Father, I wish that those whom you gave me may be where I am. I wish,” he says, “that where I am they too may be.” O happy home! O safe homeland! It has no enemy; it has no plague. We will live safely there; we won’t seek to migrate; we will not find a safer place….
You cannot migrate from this evil place to that good place unless you act well in this evil place. It is a place where no one is hungry. If you wish to dwell in that good place where no one hungers, then in this evil place share your bread with the hungry. No one is a stranger in that blessed place; all are living in their own homeland. If then you wish to be in that good place where no one is a stranger, in this evil place receive those who have no home to enter. Offer hospitality to a stranger in this evil place so that you may come to the good place where you cannot be a host. In that good place no one lacks clothing; there is no cold there, and no heat, so what need of a roof is there, what need of clothing? There will be no roof there, but there will be shelter….”Beneath the shadow of your wings I shall hope” (Ps 56:2). In this evil place, then, offer a roof to the homeless so that you may be in that good place where you will have such shelter that you will not have to repair it because no rain drips there. There is a perpetual fountain of truth, but that rain brings joy not dampness; that rain is the fountain of life itself. What else do these texts mean: “With you is the fountain of life” (Ps 35:10) and “The Word was with God” (Jn 1:l)? (Augustine, Sermon 217, 2; PL 38, 1083)