This weekend’s homily is brief, because I’m also talking about our capital campaign.
I think it’s very important for us to realize that we are not at home in this world, wherever we are. We are always travelers until we reach heaven, which is our true home. I remember on the last day of my dad’s life, he kept looking at his watch and saying, “It’s almost time to go home.” We kept telling him he couldn’t go home, because he was too sick. But later that day when we were talking, we realized what he really meant. He was on his way to his true home, our true home, that place we all want to go one day.
Jesus gave Peter, James and John a glimpse of that in today’s Gospel. On seeing the vision, I think Peter realized that there was something like that going on here. He wanted to build tents, to keep Moses and Elijah there and make that their home. But he really was babbling, because, quite understandably, he didn’t know what to make of it all.
What they were getting, in a way, is a glimpse of heaven. Jesus appearing with Moses, the giver of the Law, and Elijah, the epitome of Old Testament Prophets. It’s Jesus himself who brings the Law to fulfillment, and Jesus himself who is the fulfillment of all the prophets’ messages. They appeared in a dazzling vision that revealed what Jesus’ resurrected body would be like. It was obviously different and glorious, and had the disciples stunned.
So in these days of Lent, it is well for us to remember that there is more to life than just what we see here. The task, then, is to live our lives like we’re going to heaven. Because that’s what we want. Yes, we will have to take up the cross to get there. Yes, we will have to venture into unknown territory like Abram. But if we ever want to get to the joys of heaven, we have to be willing to brave the unknown and endure the cross and go wherever it is God takes us.