Homily – Second Sunday of Lent (C)

Last Sunday, the First Sunday of Lent, we heard the Gospel from St Luke about the temptation of Jesus in the desert.  Last weekend’s gospel passage is a fitting start to our annual Lenten journey: a journey that takes us away from sin and towards a deeper love of God.

Today we have just heard the account of the transfiguration of Jesus in the presence of Peter, James, and John.  What a dramatic shift from last Sunday’s gospel.  We have moved quickly from a mortal struggle with sin and death – to a vision of the glories of heaven itself. 

This movement from sin and death to heavenly glory gives us a picture not only of Jesus’ divine mission but also of our journey as disciples of Christ.

We can imagine what those disciples felt as they saw Jesus transfigured before their eyes, His clothes dazzling white.  And Moses and Elijah standing before them.  Despite their fear, Peter exclaims: “Rabbi, it is good that we are here.”  In the presence of the great people of old and of the promised Messiah, this was truly a glimpse of heaven itself, of the glory that was to come.  Is it any wonder that Peter wanted this moment to continue, to go on forever?

Can you see what Jesus is teaching His disciples and us?  Do you understand that the crown of victory comes only after we have been victorious in our battle with sins and temptations?  Jesus’ own resurrection reveals to us that He has won the battle with the devil; but the struggle continues to be played out in each of our lives.  With fidelity to Christ and trust in His grace we, too, will be victorious in our earthly contest.  For now, we must “listen to God’s Son” and see in Him the model after whom we fashion our lives.

The transfiguration gives us a small glimpse of the life to come in heaven.  That is a real thing, not a myth.  At the same time, it reveals the glory that is ours right now in this life, we must not see our life in God as only the future reality.  We are sons and daughters of God right now, and the glory of God enlivens us at this very moment.  His justifying and sanctifying grace introduces us into the life of heaven even in this world.  In living faithfully, the Christian life today, especially our worthy reception of the sacraments, we move that much closer to the fulfilment of life in Christ – our heavenly home.

At the beginning of this Lenten season, there, with Peter, James, and John we are experiencing heaven itself.  The fullness of that vision awaits us at the end of time.  Lent invites us to walk by faith and not by vision.  The transfiguration is a foretaste and promise of heaven.  In an even more solid way, the Eucharist which we celebrate is that same foretaste and promise of heaven.  We have listened to God’s Son.  He invites us now to enter once again into His Eucharistic sacrifice.

By Fr Trac Nguyen




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David Healy

I liked the Homily - that the Transfiguration represented a victory over the temptations of the last forty days and nights. A glimpse of the promised land that is at the end of the journey if we play our cards right!

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