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YEAR C: HOMILY FOR THE 2ND SUNDAY OF LENT
HOMILY THEME: TRANSFORMATION THROUGH COMMUNION!
BY: FR BEN AGBO.
HOMILY: Gen 15 : 5 – 18, Phil 3 : 17 – 4 : 1, Lk 9 : 28 – 36.
‘To pray means to be spiritually immersed in God in an attitude of humble cohesion to his will’. So says Vima Dasan. A good prayer must affect our whole body, mind and spirit. A good prayer is an encounter ‘where deep is calling upon deep’, Ps 42 : 7.
The biblical accounts of transfiguration are pointers to the power of contemplative prayer – a type of prayer that transforms us physically, psychologically and spiritually.
B. MOSES’ TRANSFIGURATION
The first biblical account of transfiguration was Moses’, Ex 34 : 28 – 35. The Bible recorded that when Moses came down from Mt Sinai after spending 40 days and 40 nights with God, his face was radiant with the Shekinah glory. Aaron and the rest of the Israelites were so scared about coming close that the face of Moses had to be covered with a veil. His eyes which saw this glory of the Lord never grew dim until he died.
C. JESUS’ TRANSFIGURATION
“It is wonderful for us to be here”. This was the climatic statement from Peter that described the whole experience. The glory of Jesus is unique. At his transfiguration, His divinity was breaking through His humanity. Jesus was transfigured as He was praying. Prayer occupied an important place in His life. This should also be the case with us. Our busyness must never be an excuse for our lack of prayer.
The significance of his 2 heavenly visitors are as follows ;
(i) Moses came to bring an end to the era of legalism.
(ii) Elijah came to bring an end to the era of prophetic asceticism.
The two greatest men of O. T history teaches us that the departed Saints in a glorious state in heaven are part and parcel of our prayer encounter, Lk 15 : 7. These 2 great men of God fasted 40 days and 40 nights as Jesus did and both died quite mysteriously as Jesus did. Both were prophets who championed the process of liberation of Israelites from slavery and idolatry. They both stood before Jesus in today’s gospel to discuss about His death and to encourage him on his journey towards the cross.
D. OUR OWN TRANSFIGURATION
Both at Jesus’ baptism and transfiguration, he was declared as the beloved Son of God with whom God was well pleased. Our own baptism also requires confirmation by the Holy Spirit as we embark on obedience and righteous living. The Eucharist strengthens our baptism as we commune with God in every mass. The sacrament of reconciliation strengthens our reception of the Eucharist and ensures that there is no hypocritical worship.
Our hearts need to be frequently raised to God in communion. Communion with God will change and glorify us. As we receive Christ in our souls, He will sink deeper and deeper into our hearts, and finally transform us from glory to glory. The Bible says that ‘All of us with our unveiled faces like mirrors reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the image that we reflect in brighter and brighter glory ; this is the working of the Lord who is the Spirit’, 2 Cor 3 : 18.
Today’s 2nd reading laments that there are many of us who behave like enemies of Christ’s Cross and who have no sincere faith and often forget that our homeland is in heaven not here. As Abram put his faith in God and this was counted for him as righteousness, we need to conform our faith in Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Saviour through a deeper prayer life and stronger commitment towards obeying his Word.
The bane of modern day Christianity, especially Catholicism is that many do not receive the Eucharist in a state of grace. Many don’t commune spiritually. They only commune socially. Our greatest challenge today is to have a life changing prayer/ communion with God and not just the usual noisy fruitless exercise we see today as christians pretend to pray.
* Just watched a watsap video where three little kids were praying in tongues and shouting “Holy Ghost fire” trying to imitate their parents maybe. It all looked ridiculous.
Jesus said that the time is coming and has come when true worshippers will worship the father in spirit and truth, Jn 4 : 24.
Our prayer life should touch everything around us ; our body, our clothes, our mind, our spirit, our behaviour, our friends and relations, our colleagues, etc. John Cardinal Henry Newman said that ‘Change is the logic of life. To live is to change …To be holy is to have changed often’.
If we want to experience our own Tabor, we must take ourselves away ( to the Mountain) to be emersed in prayer. At prayer, the Lord confirms our Sonship, changes our clothes ( behaviour), sends us heavenly visitors ( spiritual aids) and reminds us to always listen to his Word. Yes, Vima Dasan said that ‘The destiny of every Christian is written on 3 mountains of prayer ; Mt Moriah ( is the mountain of personal sacrifices), Mt Tabor ( is the mountain of meditation where we have the vision of heaven) and Mt Calvary ( is where we enjoy the merits of the passion and death of Christ)’.
We need to deal with our weak flesh always pulling us down in order to be able to rise for midnight prayers because the Bible says that we should pray at all times in the spirit, Eph 6 : 18. Happy Sunday dear friends.
FR BEN AGBO.