Fr. Dale’s Homily – 2nd Sunday of Lent
2nd Sunday of Lent (Cycle B)
February 27-28, 2021
Gospel: Mark 9: 2-10
I once read these powerful words…
Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light,not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God…We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”
Transfiguration happens when some inner quality or hidden potential of a person comes to light. And when those persons allow that true potential to come to light, they are transformed, they show their “true colors”.
The readings from Genesis and Mark present two stories of transfiguration. Abraham is put through a test of faith and is transformed from being a mere shepherd to becoming the father of a great nation. Jesus is transfigured before the eyes of three of His disciples from being merely an itinerant preacher to being the Savior of the World. These readings and this season of Lent offer us an invitation to also accept the test of faith and become transformed into the person we are meant to be. Lent is the opportunity to address the ILLUSIONS which we all have.
Jesus climbed the mountain to pray and his prayer was so intense that his destiny became visible. As Jesus prays, he experiences a further inner assurance of who he was meant to be. His face glowed with a new realization that his ascent to the Mount of Transfiguration was indeed a saving action. He will, of necessity, die in Jerusalem, but that will not be the final word. Passion, crucifixion and death are but a part of the scenario. Resurrection is the final word. And that word belongs to God.
As usual, that insight eludes the three disciples, and also as usual, Peter puts his foot in his mouth, saying, “Let’s set up camp, let’s stay on this mountain.” Peter may have been impetuous, but he was not stupid. He, no doubt, recalled Jesus’ words that anyone who loses his life will save it; that followers of Jesus must carry their cross; that Jesus himself will be killed. Knowing all that, why leave the “awesome” mountain?
But the message of the transfiguration was not to settle in …but to move on.
The Voice of God says from the cloud, “This is my chosen Son, listen to him.” LISTEN? It is not sufficient to experience the glory of God on the mountain. We must come down, continue our journey of faith and accept our destiny. IF we listen to Jesus, we WILL hear again the prediction of his passion and crucifixion. To LISTEN to Jesus is to embrace suffering and death. But to LISTEN to Jesus is ALSO to experience Easter.
In these remaining days of Lent, let us embrace the message of the Transfiguration to move on... Let us delve into our inner selves, recognize the ILLUSIONS present and embrace the person we were meant to be. When we let our light shine, then Jesus will reveal the Glory of God on Easter.
Until then … let us break bread and bless the cup.