Lenten Homily: Companionship of Christ
What sort of week have you had? Has it been just an average, normal week? Can you recall any, what I like to call “Wow” moments in recent days?
I remember the first time I went on a plane – I was very excited as the plane went out on the tarmac to prepare for take-off. That for me was a “Wow” moment. These days I watch the children coming to school in the morning with their heavy ‘school bags’, I ask myself are they enjoying the beauty of creation in the trees and the clouds? If occasionally they notice how beautiful it is, I hope it is a “Wow” moment for them and that they learn to praise and thank the Lord of Creation.
The chosen three on Mount Tabor certainly had a “wow” moment when Jesus was “transfigured” in their sight. They were lost in wonder and awe! However, at the same time they were also very ‘fearful’. Jesus then said to them “Do not be afraid”!
That experience was preparing them for the journey to Calvary and Resurrection. It reminds us of our own journey in life. We need to treasure ‘moments of insight’ that we may have from time to time. We will miss them unless we are reflective and make space to ponder the beauty around us and in our family lives. The trap is that we become so
Pre-occupied with our own busyness, that we do not find time to, as we say, “smell the roses”. ‘Transfigurations’ happen around us at unexpected moments and in surprising places – for those who have eyes to see. Have you ever seen a timid person become strong and fearless when circumstances required strength beyond fear? With apologies to the women, have you ever seen a plain face become a ‘radiant beauty’ when seen through the eyes of love? I hope the men can agree with that and say: “we have”.
This Sunday’s passage from Matthew’s Gospel is in the middle of the Lenten season to remind us of our destiny. The image of Jesus as glorified and radiating the light of God is a true one, just as the image of Him as bloodied and broken on the Cross is true. The way we think about Christ affects how we live our lives as His disciples. I pose a question to myself and to all of us -“Which image of Jesus comes most easily to you in prayer – e.g. the teacher, the miracle worker, the glorified one, the crucified friend and saving Lord”? The one we focus on may well reflect what is going on in our life at the time. Jesus always wants to meet us exactly where we are – when we come to pray we can be honest and frank with Him about what is going on in our lives.
That message is reinforced today in the 2nd reading from
Paul’s message to Timothy. He wrote from prison before his execution in Rome. It is like a mission statement for all of us.
Despite our hardships and the crosses that come to us in many different guises, we are, as Paul says to Timothy, to remain strong. While the road we walk on leads to Calvary, we are to remember the Good News that we carry in our hearts is “Jesus Christ is risen from the dead”!
So despite the discouragements and, at times, even failures we experience, as disciples of Jesus and nourished by the Eucharist, we are to persevere on our journey in life with the knowledge that the Risen Christ is our companion.