Homily for Sunday, 20 March 2011
2nd Sunday of Lent: Gen 12:1-4. 2 Tim 1:8-10. Mt 17:1-9.
This Sunday is about the Transfiguration and the call to give witness of one’s encounter with God.
Jesus tells Peter, James and John not to tell of their experience of the Transfiguration until he has overcome that dastardly death on Calvary. But the news arrives on our doorstep today... because He has overcome it! This Sunday is ‘an anticipation’ of Easter. He brought them up a high mountain that time and now He wants to bring us all up. But it's not a physical ascent. It's the ascent of faith. I closed my science books for a moment once, and thought - and thought - and read the Bible and thought - and the truth is that Moses and Elijah (and many more) begin to get the message across - with Mathew, Mark, Luke and John turning on lights that clarify it. Christ is calling you and I up that mountain while the world wants us to stay wallowing in its fancy-looking mud. Like a muddy worm becomes a butterfly, God wants us to crawl out of the mud of our selfishness and pride this Lent and sprout wings for Easter. Abraham had to fly far from the life to which he was accustomed. We may be called to fly from the riches and securities and honours and pleasures to which we're accustomed. But God doesn't let down! He raises up, even if it's in a wheelchair. Us worms have potential! The Son of God himself rises up from a tomb!
I admire the way the Trinity have got their message across through many people over many centuries. A seventy-five year old Abraham got very far and got many to carry on. The Gospels are the most important readings, but both the Old and the rest of the New Testaments are important also. That's why we have the three readings at Sunday mass. But we don't believe that there's a full-stop placed for all time. In fact, They may want to keep getting their message across through your life now! Will you present your short physical life as a blank page? Christ writes and draws very well! Abraham (then called Abram), was 75 years old when called by God. As Paul says today 'Our Lord saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design' (2 Tim 1:9). Hopefully the blank page will be without marks or dust!
One individual called Patrick in the early 5th century did actually give a decent witness of his encounter with the Word of God, and those strange people (the Irish) converted! March 17 is his ‘feast day’ (Solemnity in Ireland). It’s just a ‘commemoration’ in the Church in Spain but ‘You don’t have to be Irish to be Irish’! ‘Le gach deagh ghuí ó do chara in Spáin’!
This Easter let's ask Christ to bring us up the mountain with Him, to go through a 'transfiguration'! He is God's beloved son. We'll listen to Him!