More often than not, the road home is, for me, quicker than what it took for me to get anywhere else. This was particularly true when, during my internship, I went with the other interns to a football game that took place out in the boondocks. I’m talking small town redneck Texas kind of place. We were there to report on a local high school football game and promote the station. However, due to the day being short and my interns and me being the only ones bitten by mosquitoes, we high tailed it out of the boondocks by half time and laughed all the way home.
The same goes for Tobias, Sarah, and Raphael. After getting the money that Sarah’s relatives owe his father, Sarah’s family bids Tobias and his traveling party “bon voyage.” I especially love Raquel’s advice to Sarah to respect her new in-laws. Although I love Pope Francis’s frequent jokes about mothers-in-law, like it or not, in-laws are “as much your parents as the ones who brought you into the world.” I’m not married, but I know the idea of having a family that consists of people that aren’t your blood relations. I have many people in my life who I feel are my brothers and sisters in Christ.
We aren’t shown what happens to Tobias, Sarah, and Raphael on the journey back to Nineveh except for Tobias planning to use the fish gall to help cure his father. But really, most good stories know to show only what is necessary. I think one reason that the way back home is faster for heroes than getting to where they went in the first place is because getting home is a matter of working backwards. And since they took care of all the obstacles that blocked them from getting to their first destination, the path is clear for the way home.
As a cradle Catholic, I find conversion stories to be the most fascinating thing about being Catholic. One thing that conversion stories have in common is that the people involved would search for happiness and belonging through many things, but it’s not until they find God that they finally find what they are searching for. As Saint Augustine said “You have made us for Yourself and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” For those who convert, the journey home is actually just the first chapter that begins their life in Christ. It’s like how a movie finishes with an open ending, leaving room for a possible sequel.
I have a friend who’s going through her own conversion story. What’s great about our friendship is that I get to introduce her to things that I learned about my faith from college and I get to learn things about my own faith from her as well. The best thing about being Catholic is that no matter where you are on your journey, you are connected to your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, which means that you are never alone.
STUDY QUESTIONS: If you’re a convert, how do you think your journey to recognizing Christ has changed your life? What do you think you can learn from those who have grown up with the faith? If you grew up Christian, what do you think of conversion stories? Do you still stay strong in the faith or have you drifted away from it? What do you think you can learn from converts?