Back at the time when St. Francis of Assisi was forming his new way of life, the townspeople noticed that the saint and his followers never made their home in a monastery. They saw how these friars would move from place to place preaching the Gospel, helping the people wherever they went, and making their home underneath the stars. One man went up to St. Francis and asked him: “Sir, but where is your monastery? Where do you live?” Francis with a wave of his hand answered that the whole world was his monastery. For he trusted so much in God’s Providence and in the beauty of creation that he felt “at home” where God would send him and his brothers. Thus, began the Franciscan movement in the Church. The first friars had no houses, no money, few possessions; and yet they were totally joyful! For they knew that Christ was walking with them and providing for their needs. They wore a tattered brown robe and kept what little they had in their nine pockets. (By the way, the next time you see me try to guess where my Franciscan habit/robe has its nine pockets! If you guess correctly, there may be a prize waiting for you!). This attitude of trust in God’s Providence is what today’s Gospel is about. It is the Gospel story of the Transfiguration of Jesus. When St. Peter experienced how beautiful God is through Christ’s light shining through Him, something lit up inside of Peter. He said, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents!” In other words, Peter was willing to make his own home where Christ was because he felt a deep joy and peace of soul with Jesus. And that is our hope as well as we enter into the Season of Lent. For we know that as much as we may enjoy our own homes and houses, nothing can compare to being at home with Christ! I am not just speaking about waiting until afterlife or heaven; I am speaking about the present moment of our lives. Lent is a sacred time when we rediscover Christ walking before us, Christ being above us, Christ being behind us, and Christ living within us. When we can experience this, we will have discovered our true home: not a place, but a deep sense of peace. No matter what life might throw at us right now, no obstacle can ever prevent us from feeling that we have finally found our home: it is in and with Christ. Let Him transfigure your heart and bring you His light and peace.
~ Fr. John