Franciscan Moments @ Saint Miriam: March 12, 2019

I went home. I know that sounds kind of trite, but that is what I did this past weekend. I played ‘hooky’ from church and went home to visit my family. I spent time with my mom and my sister and her family. I ate good homemade Italian food, reminisced about my life and growing up in Erie, and I visited the grave of my father at the cemetery. Katelyn was with me so, of course, we visited some places of great meaning to me and my years there growing up, maturing, and becoming who I am today. Yes, I went home.

For many people home is illusive. For some they could not tell you what it feels like to go home or even be welcomed like I was this past weekend. Home is a box or a tree or a piece of earth under am overpass. These are what we call homeless but that is not their identity. No, they are people, just like you and me, who happen to be experiencing homelessness currently in their journey, but they are far from a being called homeless persons, they are like us. People. Loved. Wanted. Cherished, made in the image and likeness of God, just like me, and you, and that guy down the street you hate so much.

You see, I have come to know Jesus in all the varied forms He comes to me. In the nurse who cared for me after my brain surgery, in my mother who rubbed my back until my asthmatic spasm ceased to rob me of breath, in the priest who gave me wafers to ‘play priest’ as a child and by doing so instilled in me a life of service, in Father Joe and Dorothy who brought me soup to heal when I was ill, in my dad who never taught me to hate, but to love even the most unlovable, in all the grooms I have had the honor of standing with when their brides turned the corner and stood at the end of a long walk as they began to weep in pure joy, in those who challenge me to become better and see God’s goodness in this – me – in all my brokenness, in those who reject me because of my past mistakes, and in those who love me all the more, also because of my past mistakes, and yes, the man at the height of being homeless who asked me my name and by doing so taught me to ask for theirs first.

Jesus is the Word made flesh. He is God made visible. He is the Divine showing Himself in human terms. God adapted Himself to be one like us, save sin, in all our brokenness so we might still have hope. He was broken, scourged, lost, alone, in pain, smelly, and all without a home…

That is why the WE ARE ALL HOMELESS Exhibit at our parish through Lent is a way to change us so that we might become better people.  

The Risen One – The Christ – may no longer be visible, audible, or touchable in human form or in one body; no, He now comes in bodily form of many bodies, many human beings, even the most unlovely of them among us and into that Sacrament we call Divine. It is now God’s holy Church that must bear the light and say, “We see YOU! Among us here, YOU are part of us as we see Jesus, we see YOU!”

How will you see Jesus now? Will you use Lent as a time to change WHO Jesus IS to you? How will you find the Risen One among even the world’s most unlikely? How will you make the unloved feel loved again?

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