ROME — The Catholic Church is not simply the house of God but a place that can be called “home sweet home” for all of God’s children, Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio said.

“To be here in (the Basilica of) St. Mary Major, to be here in Rome, to be with our Holy Father and to be with one another is to be at home sweet home,” the archbishop said in his homily Jan. 23 during an early morning Mass at the Rome basilica.

Garcia-Siller was the principal celebrant and homilist at the Mass with the bishops of Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and the Ordinariate of St. Peter. The bishops were making their visits ad limina apostolorum — to the threshold of the apostles — to report on the status of their dioceses.

Delivering his homily in both English and Spanish, Garcia-Siller said that bishops must want that same feeling of home for “the people of God whom we serve, especially the most vulnerable.”

“Our people need a house and, above all, a home,” he said in Spanish. “May they find both in the Blessed Mother and in the communion that reigns among us.”

In his homily, the archbishop reflected on the day’s first reading from the First Book of Samuel, which recalled King Saul’s jealousy toward David and his plot to kill him.

Garcia-Siller said the reading offered a reflection on the importance of unity and “an example of the dangers of rivalry and mistrust” not only among Christians, but among bishops as well.

Saul’s envy toward David, he added, “is a lesson for all of us.”

“Our communion is not simply a personal matter or preference. Our faithfulness to the Holy Father is not something to be taken for granted. Rather this communion is our obligation for the good of the faith,” the archbishop said. “Let there be no rivalries among us.”

Instead, Garcia-Siller said, among bishops there should be “hope, communion, love and brotherly peace. Always.”

“Yes! Communion among us is a witness to the action of the Holy Spirit. We are friends of Jesus. There is no need to be jealous or to have rivalries among us,” he said.

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