Apoptotic leukocyte clearance is a hallmark of the resolution of inflammation and is a central fate-determining event for macrophages. The directional migration of motile phagocytes toward cellular corpses and the subsequent engulfment are tightly regulated, and the exciting molecular mechanisms for these complex steps are actively under investigation. In this issue Angsana et al. [Eur. J. Immunol. 2016. 46: 1592-1599.] report that the chemokine receptor CXCR4 is upregulated on murine and human macrophages following the engulfment of apoptotic cells, or following exposure to the pro-resolving nucleotide adenosine. This work, together with other recent findings, point toward a new mode of regulation of macrophages following the engulfment of apoptotic cells. In this commentary, we put these findings in relevant perspective and highlight its potential ramifications.