Friday, March 10, 2017

Catholic Reflections 595 : Homily: Second Sunday of Lent. Year A. Sunday 12 March 2017

Homily: Second Sunday of Lent. Year A. Sunday 12 March 2017

First reading   Genesis 12:1-4
Responsorial Psalm. 32(33):4-5,18-20,22
Second reading. 2 Timothy 1:8-10
Gospel. Matthew 17:1-9
Please listen to my audio-recording of this weekend’s readings, prayers and reflections for Second Sunday of Lent. Year A by clicking this link:
This gospel incident of Our Lord being transfigured on the mountain is a significant moment in the revelation of Christ’s true nature…..

One scripture commentator asks a good question about what the disciples saw on the mountaintop. “Was Jesus transformed, or were his disciples’ eyes opened?" That is, on one special day, for a few precious seconds, they glimpsed fully, astoundingly the glorious truth about their friend and teacher, Jesus, - the Truth that was always there – whether seen or not!  Whether realized by others or not

This incident of Jesus’ transfiguration in front of Peter, James, and John, teaches us that we, too, can catch a glimpse of God’s glory. All that is required is a willingness to be truly open to the unexpected as revealed by Christ.

In this revelation of Christ, the Heavenly father says…  “this is my son… I am well pleased with him… listen to him!”   -  As Fr Nicholas mentions on the front page of the newsletter this weekend…  listening is more than just hearing…  it means really being open to learn and to understand….   It means an real openness  to see and hear the “new” and the “different.” Christ is inviting us, rather, to go deeper and see what lies within.

The fact is, Jesus wasn’t actually momentarily glorified.... He was always glorious… He was always "shining brightly"… In every moment of his life… 

He was utterly alive with the glory of being both fully God and fully human… However, for most of the time, people saw this ordinary man as just another person walking the same dusty roads that everyone else walked! The disciples only glimpsed this inner glory occasionally.. but it was always there… It didn’t come and go at different times of his life, even if it was more obvious at some high-points than other times. Christ shone with glory in what he did, and what he said, in his priorities and in his teachings….. He was glorious in the everyday and the ordinary, as well as the extraordinary. This little glimpse, by the apostles, of Christ’s glory on the mountaintop, was trying to teach us to see and hear with the eyes of faith always… the apostles were encouraged to keep looking for the glory of his truth even when they came back down from the mountain-top. The message of the Father, (and to us) is “This is my Son, listen to him always and everywhere; be open to him and what he says and does!”

We Christians also shine with the light of Christ in us….   We have received the light of Christ at our baptism… we are children of the Light….   We carry the light of Christ to all we meet….
We are called to shine that light for all to see, so that people can in turn worship God, the source of that light…

We have seen, (throughout the generations), people whose lives have been truly transfigured by God’s love and grace…. They are people we have known who truly shine with God’s love and graciousness…. 
......People who certainly do radiate God’s love, forgiveness, compassion, reverence, gentleness, peacefulness  and kindness….. Their faces almost literally shine out with God’s love…

And it is not the glow of good health, or a good moisturiser, or the radiance of good fortune....or even the glow of youth....    .. This radiating love, (and I am sure you have witnessed this too), is found in people of every age, and situation... People who shine out with God’s love, even when extreme ill health, misfortune and so on, are very much part of their daily lives…

It is truly God’s grace that shines out….   For us, Christ’s light transfigures us whenever we open ourselves fully to him, and his message and values. As I speak, the person who immediately springs to mind is the wonderful Saint Teresa of Calcutta, whose life shone out with Christ's light in everything she did and said, even as age and ill-health weighed heavily on her, Christ's light shining through her, was never dimmed.

The power of God’s word to transform us is very, very strong, but it can be watered-down, domesticated or minimised to keep things unchallenging and safe. We must listen deeply and be always open to the new and unexpected; and to anticipate being surprised, delighted, unsettled and transformed by God's living word.

The transfiguration calls us all to continue really listening to the Father’s beloved Son; and to expect to hear new and surprising things that are worth listening to, and worth being transformed into.


Second Sunday of Lent - A

The Lord be with you.
Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins,
and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, through my fault, through my fault,* through my most grievous fault; therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin, all the Angels and Saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.
Memorial Acclamation

When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again.

Preparation of the Gifts
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life.
       Blessed be God for ever.

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you: fruit of the vine and work of human hands, it will become our spiritual drink.
       Blessed be God for ever.
Pray, brothers and sisters, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God,
the almighty Father.
     May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church.

Second Sunday of Lent (year A)

Eucharistic Prayer III p.58

Go forth, the Mass is ended.

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