2nd Sunday Lent
A Homily - B Cycle - 2011-2012
First Reading - Genesis 22:1-2,
9a, 10-13, 15-18
Psalm - 116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19
Second Reading - Romans 8:31b-34
Gospel - Mark 9:2-10
Mark wrote to explain Christ
to the new Gentile converts.
Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, "Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified. Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; from the cloud came a voice, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him." Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them.
Is it Easter yet? Lentís not easy, and Easter is still a ways off, but we got a *taste* of it toady . . . a sneak-peek, if you will. Jesus is TRANSFIGURED, made DAZZLING WHITE, appearing with Elijah and Moses. You know how to apostles responded? SHOCK. SURPRISE. They donít KNOW what Easter IS yet! This isnít easy to behold! What is THIS? Weíre a little confused here! Kind of like me when I went fishing with my father. When I was younger, Dad would steer the boat and help catch the fish for me. I couldnít handle it on my own. Once I was about 7 years old, however, it was time . . . *I* was the helmsman, *I* was the master fisherman . . . so off we went . . .
As we were navigating the waters of a nearby lake, and Iím at the helm, Iím steering this outboard motor, where you just move the stick behind you, and it moves. Dad gives me direction Ė Luke, weíre going to hit a log, turn the boat to the right, please! OK, I push the stick to the right, not knowing the physics of the motor. And the boat heads STRAIGHT toward the log! No, no, turn the stick to the left! But you wanted to turn right? ďExactly!Ē So I turned the sick to the right! ďNo, if you want to turn right, you have to turn the stick to the leftĒ. . . wow, I was so confused, but oh well . . . Iím fishing in the lake . . . I get a nibble! Letís reel Ďer in! Give it slack, Luke . . . but I want to catch the fish! You will, if you give it slack so the hook sets . . . another mystery . . . but I learned!
Such was the confusing art of fishing . . . Turning the rudder to the opposite way, giving SLACK to reel in a fish . . . but then, thatís NOTHING compared to how confused Abraham must have been. He just had made a covenant with the Lord, your descendants shall be more numerous than the stars on the sky or the sand on the seashore! And now, the Almighty makes a demand Ė Abraham, go up a mountain and give up your Son! What?! Lord, didnít you just promise me many descendants? Talk about confused! Normally, if there are times when I think directions are not right, donít make sense, then Iím inclined to hold off on carrying them out. If a ruler were to order me to do something that seems downright *wrong* to me, the naturally, itís GOOD to disobey! But this isnít just a human ruler . . . this is God Himself. Dad knew better how to steer and fish, and God knows BEST how Abraham should behave . . . and so Abraham does what? He LISTENS . . . and he obeys.
BECAUSE Abraham listened, Israel became a nation with countless descendants, continuing to the present day. 2000 years later, like Abraham, Christ goes up another mountain with Peter, James and John, and is TRANSFIGURED before them . . . clothes made DAZZLING white . . . a truly magnificent foretaste of Heavenly Gory and Victory over sin and death. What do the three confused apostles do? UNLIKE Abraham, they DONíT listen . . . Lord, how good it is that WE are here! We can make memorials for you! God the Father sends a gentle reminder - this is SON youíre dealing with! Enough talking, LISTEN to Him! By listening, these three would become the first leaders for the Church. By LISTENING, they would convert souls and lead others to Christ. By LISTENING, they would become fishers of men. By LISTENING, they would find salvation. So what do WE need to do this Lent? Listen, yes.
But thatís too easy to say without doing anything. If we want to actually obey and follow our Lordís plan for us, if we want to LISTEN to Him successfully, then we need to make the best PLACE and the best TIME for Him.
Truly, I canít think of a better place to listen to our Lord than here in Church, and a better TIME to listen than following Mass. Once the celebrant has led the way out at the end of Mass *which signifies the risen Jesus leading the people out at Easter), once the music has ceased, we can sit for just a couple of moments, and listen to the Lord who is literally WITHIN US after Holy Communion. We can listen to the one who helps us with the most mysterious or incomprehensible things in our lives. We spend this Lent treasuring those moments of silence, ESPECIALLY after MASS, and we follow Peterís example, by quieting our mouths, and opening our ears and our hearts. Peter was right, it IS good to be HERE! Because Jesus is too . . . and He has much to teach us.
IF we spend some time listening to Him in prayer. If we send just a couple of moments after Mass to listen to the one whoís been TRANSFIGURED into Heavenly RADIANCE, then somethingís going to happen , , , we will be transfigured as well . . . so that when others SEE us, HEAR us, they wonít be confused, for they will SEE and HEAR . . . Jesus as we glorify the Lord with our life!