Homily: Second Sunday of Lent
By Mons. Peter Jeffrey:
You may have noticed in the Bulletin that there is to be a “Stronger Rally” for youth with Fr. Rob. in our Marian Centre on 29th March. What I have noticed previously is that at the end of a powerful experience no one wants to leave. They almost feel sad about having to go back to the real world.
Peter feels the same way in today’s Gospel. You may find the scene of the Transfiguration of Jesus on Mt. Tabor quite puzzling. We can think of it this way – Jesus and his closest friends go up a mountain to pray. During that time, they realise the importance of Jesus and His mission. They see His mission as a fulfilment of the mission of historic figures from the Old Testament. Moses and Elijah represented the Law and the Prophets.
Experiencing God’s special presence, Peter wants to stay. This experience strengthens him and the others for the journey that lies ahead. Do we find our daily prayer time and our praying of the weekly Mass flow into our daily work and family life?
Lent is a good time to evaluate our personal and family prayer life. Do we share our struggles or burdens with the Lord seeking His guidance? Our personal quiet time can also turn our focus towards our friends and family who need our support. Our prayer can help us to be Christ’s presence to all people – in our local community and in faraway places.
During the past week, it was good to see that some parishioners were able to get to Spirituality in the Pub. We heard from a man from Zimbabwe (named Super Dube) how our contributions through Project Compassion has helped to establish piped, filtered water in a village. The girl we saw on the screen last weekend used to have a hilly walk to and from the river to get water to her family and clan. It meant she missed a lot of her education until water pipes from the river to the village were fitted with the help of Australian aid. She could then concentrate on her education and continue to hope to become a nurse.
In this Gospel scene, the Father proclaims “This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him”! Do we make space in our busy lives to listen to what the Spirit may be saying to us in the circumstances of our lives? Lent is a good time to review our prayer life. Does my personal prayer, both nourish and challenge my life as a disciple of Jesus?
When we look at the message from St. Paul to the Philippians, he could well be speaking to the people of Christchurch and beyond. I say that in view of the horrific slaughter of people praying there on Friday in three Mosques. Pope Francis has expressed sympathy and prayerful support for the victims and their Muslim communities.
However, while that devastation has received condemnation worldwide. In our liturgy today Paul is reminding us that our ultimate goal is to be Christlike in all our interactions and finally to be transformed into the radiant glory of Christ. We prayed in the psalm “The Lord is my light and my salvation”.
Knowing our final destiny, can add lustre to our present way of living and it can help shape the present way we interact with family and friends. In spite of shocking things that may occur in the world, nourished by this Eucharist, we can be like the three disciples who came down from the Mount of the Transfiguration. They became “change agents” in their following of Jesus. Nourished by the Eucharist, we will be sent forth from our Mass “to proclaim the Gospel with our lives”.