Father Nathan Homily | March 8, 2020
Father Nathan | Homily
2nd Sunday of Lent
Each year on the second Sunday of the lent the church puts before us the transfiguration of Jesus.
His face shone and His clothing became dazzlingly white.
We too can experience transfection. Virtue transfigures us. But sin disfigures us.
The common theme of today’s readings is metamorphosis or transformation.
The readings invite us to work with the assistance of the Holy Spirit to transform our lives by renewing them during Lent, and to radiate the glory and grace of the transfigured Lord which we have received to all around us by our Spirit-filled lives.
Scripture lessons summarized:
Today’s first reading (Gen 12:1-4),
Tells of the call of Abraham. Thanks to his faith in God the whole human race has been blessed.
It describes the transformation of a pagan patriarch into a believer in the one God. His name will be transformed from Abram to Abraham and his small family into a great nation.
All Abram has to do is to obey the Lord God’s command, and he does so.
Responsorial Psalm (Ps 33:4-5, 18-19, 22
“Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place outr trust in you.”
The second reading (2 Tim 1:8-10)
The power of God and the vision of immorality enable the Christians to face the suffering which faithfulness to the gospel inevitably brings.
St. Paul’s in his second letter to Timothy, explains the type of Lenten transformation expected of us.
We are transformed when we recognize the hand of a loving, providing and disciplining God behind all our hardships, pain and suffering and try our best to grow in holiness by cooperating with the grace of God given to us through Jesus and his Gospel.
Today’s Gospel (Mt:17:1-9)
In the Transfiguration story in today’s Gospel, Jesus is revealed as a glorious figure, superior to Moses and Elijah.
The primary purpose of Jesus’ Transfiguration was to allow Jesus to consult his Heavenly Father in order to ascertain His plan for His Son’s suffering, death and Resurrection. The secondary aim was to make his chosen disciples aware of Jesus’ Divine glory, so that they might discard their worldly ambitions and dreams of a conquering political Messiah and might be strengthened in their time of trial.
On the mountain, Jesus is identified by the Heavenly Voice as the Son of God. Thus, the transfiguration narrative is a Christophany, that is, a manifestation or revelation of who Jesus really is. Describing Jesus’ Transfiguration, the Gospel gives us a glimpse of the Heavenly glory awaiting those who do God’s will by putting their trusting Faith in Him.
Like the story of Jesus‘s baptism, the transfiguration is an epiphany story.
Both stories are manifestations of Jesus as he is, or as he will be. In both there is a voice, and the voice says the same words. A mountain is a place of divine manifestation.
The cloud is a sign of the presence of God. Moses and Elijah stand for the law and the Prophets. It’s no longer possible to say what happened on the mountain. Was it a vision? Was it a profound religious experience?
There has been a tendency to see the Transfiguration simply as a stage in the education of the apostles. But its first and the chief significance was for Jesus himself. It was meant to confirm him in the course he had taken. But of course it also benefited the apostles. And it’s this that Mathew emphasizes.
In the In the transfigured Jesus they got a glimpse of the glory of the risen Lord. Even so, they would not understand until Jesus had risen from the dead.
1) The Transubstantiation in the Holy Mass is the source of our strength
In each Holy Mass our offering of bread and wine becomes the Body and Blood of Jesus under the appearances of bread and wine.
Hence, just as the Transfiguration of Jesus strengthened the Apostles in their time of trial, each Holy Mass should be our source of Heavenly strength against our own temptations and a source of grace for the renewal of our lives during Lent.
In addition, communion with Jesus in prayer and especially in the Eucharist should be a source of daily transformation of both our minds and hearts, enabling us to see Jesus in every one of our brothers and sisters with whom we come in contact each day.
2) Each Sacrament that we receive transforms us.
Baptism, for example, transforms us into sons and daughters of God and heirs of heaven.
Confirmation makes us the temples of the Holy Spirit. By the Sacrament of Reconciliation, God brings back the sinner to the path of holiness.
By receiving in Faith, the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, we are spiritually, and sometimes physically, healed, and our sins are forgiven.
3) A message of hope and encouragement
In moments of doubt, pain and suffering, disappointment and despair, we need mountain-top experiences to reach out to God and listen to His consoling words:
“This is my beloved son/daughter in whom I am well pleased.”
Our ‘Lenten penance’ will lead us to the ‘Easter joy.’
Wishing you and Your Family a Year Filled with Holiness and Grace!
Have a Blessed Week,
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