Last night, I joined my Godkids in watching the opening night of In the Heights at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory. It was a full house of parents, alumni, and even the Archbishop of San Francisco was found in the audience.
I was captivated by the story of Nina, the student who lost her scholarship to Standford University who watches her father sell the family business so she can return to pursue her degree; Usnavi, torn in his return to the Dominican Republic; Benny, the former bad-boy who works for Nina’s father. These characters represent the story of all our lives as we move from one place to another.
Of all the characters, it is Abuela Claudia who captured my heart. She is the abuela who is the symbol of constant unconditional love in this barrio torn by misfortune and the tireless search for purpose. Upon her sudden death due to stress and heat, they recall her life through the box of collected memories and at the climax of the show, a memorial is revealed in her honor and all the characters, especially her grandson Usnavi, realizes they are home! This show gives a little insight to Sunday’s Gospel on the Transfiguration of Jesus.
We will hear the story of how Peter wanted to pitch three tents for our Lord, Elijah, and Moses. It was good for him to be there with Jesus and the great prophets. Yet, they had to descend the mountain so that our Lord may carry the Cross up another mountain and save us by his passionate love. Similar to abuela Claudia, Jesus gives everything for those he loves… look at His box: the cosmos that remain in order, the stars which He knows all by name, the water fall, the sunlight, the moon … it was all made for you and even those who do not love him! When we stand still and listen to Him, we realize that we are made for home. And what is home? Heaven.