Welcome Friends!

A Catholic blog about faith, social issues, economics, culture, politics and poetry -- powered by Daily Mass & Rosary

If you like us, share us! Social media buttons are available at the end of each post.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Share the Journey of the Transfiguration: Listen! This is HIs Beloved Son

Sermon by Rev. John Paul Shea
Second Sunday in Lent, March 1, 2015
Saints Peter & Paul Parish, Tucson, AZ
From the cloud came a voice, "This is my Beloved Son. Listen to Him." (Mark 9:7)
Today’s Gospel takes us on a journey. 

Jesus takes three of His disciples up a high mountain (Mark 9:2-10). When I was in the seminary our class went to the Holy Land. While we were there, one of the places we visited was the mountain of the Transfiguration. 

It is a high mountain. As we rode the bus up that steep mountain, I was thinking that it was not an easy or short climb. I imagine that it took much time and effort for Our Lord and His disciples to climb it. Our Lord’s disciples were probably wondering, what is the point of doing all this?

  Yet, when they got to the top of the mountain, I assume the three disciples realized it was worth the climb. Our Lord transfigures in front of their eyes, manifesting His divinity. His face shines with the brilliance of the sun. His garments become dazzlingly bright. Moses and Elijah appear conversing with Jesus…

As we reflect on the Transfiguration, we are reminded that this special time was not for the sake of Our Lord. His Transfiguration was for the sake of His disciples and for us.

My brothers and sisters, each one of us are on a journey. We each have a purpose in life. The Transfiguration of Our Lord shows who He is and reveals what we are to become. Our Lord Jesus is the Son of God. We are to become sons of God though Him. However, we are reminded that the Transfiguration does not come simply by climbing a mountain. It comes from accepting the Cross. Jesus and His apostles had already begun the final journey to Jerusalem.

When our Lord was transfigured in His glory, Peter wanted to stay on top of the mountain. He wanted to build three tents, one for Moses, one for Elijah and one for Jesus. But Our Lord reminds Peter that this could not be. 

No. They had to come down from the mountain so that Our Lord could share His glory with the rest of humanity. How did our Lord share His glory with us? By dying on the Cross.
"And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." (John 12:32)

Our Lord Jesus is the image of God. He calls each one of us to be transfigured in His glory. This journey of transformation begins at our Baptism, but it is not yet complete.

If we want to share in the glory of Our Lord, we too must share in the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ. 

This means that we must die to the sinful nature of our humanity and live in the Spirit. We must strive to overcome our disordered desires and strive to live pure lives. It is then that the Light of the Lord lives inside us. As our Lord offered His Body as a living sacrifice, we too are to offer our bodies as a holy, living sacrifice acceptable to the Lord….

If we want to be transformed in Jesus, than we are to live in faith. Even our Lord Jesus who is God had to rely on faith. He prayed in sweat to His Father while in the Garden of Gethsemane. He cried out on the Cross, “Father, why have you abandoned me?” 

Through faith, the power of Christ is manifested in us because we rely not on ourselves but on God. It is through faith that we can allow our relationship with God to change our personal identity.

Sometimes God gives us special glimpses of His glory in order to strengthen us for our journey of faith. We see this in the lives of many saints who had special revelations of God in order to strengthen them in their trials.

Yet, God calls us to not rely on personal revelations. God wants to see what we are made of. He wants to see if we truly love Him. It is when we faithfully abandon ourselves to God that we discover He not only gives us what we need, but He gives us strength we never knew we had.

“Do not lay your hand on the boy,” said the messenger.
“Do not do the least thing to him.
I know now how devoted you are to God,
since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son.” (Gen 22:12)
In today’s first reading we hear that God put Abraham to the test (Gen 22: 1-18). God also puts us to the test. He wants to see if we truly love Him. Yet, we find that if we are obedient to His Word, He blesses us tremendously.
Again the LORD’s messenger called to Abraham from heaven and said: “I swear by myself, declares the LORD,that because you acted as you did in not withholding from me your beloved son, I will bless you abundantly and make your descendants as countless as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore; your descendants shall take possession of the gates of their enemies, and in your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing— all this because you obeyed my command. (Gen 22:15-18)

Finally, if we want to share in the transfiguration of our Lord, we must listen to God. 

When our Lord was transfigured the voice of the Father said, “This is my Beloved Son. Listen to Him.” We should listen to our Lord. He says a lot of good stuff in the Gospels. He tells us what marriage is. He explains adultery… He tells us about lust, pride, sloth… He calls us to have faith and to persevere in prayer. Our Lord tells us about all the things we need to do to attain eternal life. Most importantly, Our Lord backs up His words by His cross.

Fr. John Paul Shea 
My brothers and sisters, each one of us is on a journey. The goal of our Christian life is to one day be transfigured into the light and glory of Our Lord. Our Lord has given us the means to get there. The question is, are we willing to pick up our cross?

Would you like to read more homilies from Fr. John Paul Shea? Here is one from the first Sunday of Lent: Climb Aboard the Ark of Our Salvation!

No comments:

Post a Comment