Homily: Second Sunday of Lent Year C Transfiguration

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Homily Second Sunday of Lent Year C

Reading 1: This is the second of several covenants God makes with individuals and peoples. The first was with Noah after the flood and the sign was the rainbow. The second was with Abraham and the sign was circumcision. The third was with Moses and the sign was the Ten Commandments of the Law. The final covenant is that which Jesus made for us and the sign is his sacrifice on the cross.

There is a progression in these covenants. The covenant with Noah was made by God and Noah was to be obedient to God. In the second with Abraham, which we heard today, God made three promises: many descendants, new land and many blessings. The sealing of the covenant with sacrifice and blood was done on God’s part. In this he prefigured that he himself would not break the covenant. Instead, he himself will give his life blood for us.

Abraham put his faith in God. The terrifying darkness is a symbol of sin: Abraham’s and all of humanity. The flaming torch is Jesus, the light of the world, taking upon himself our sins.

We may at times question God’s mysterious plan, but in the end we are called to act in faith, trusting that God’s promise will be fulfilled in his timing and place.

Reading 2: We are called to imitate Paul and those like him who conduct their lives according to the Gospel mandates. This is in contrast to those who are enemies of the cross by remaining in sin and leading others into sin. Instead of keeping their covenant, made in baptism they turned back to sin. Their end is destruction, unless they repent.

Paul tells us that we have been save by Jesus Christ as a sign of his infinite mercy. He looked upon our misery and broke the bonds holding us away from God. Now, we await the fullness of our salvation, when Jesus will come in glory to judge the living and the dead.

In his mercy he will change our lowly body that has been torn apart, bruised and wounded by sin. He will transform our body conforming it to his glorified body. There will be no more suffering, pain, or crying out. Through his mercy our glorified body will be glorified with him before the Father. Meanwhile, what must we do?  We must stand firm in the Lord, repent of sin, forgive and secure forgiveness, love as he calls us to love and be merciful as he is merciful to us.

Gospel: Jesus has just revealed to the Apostles his true mission as the Christ, namely to suffer, die for our sins and then rise from the dead. Unlike Abraham, the Apostles did not put their faith in Jesus.

In his humanity, Jesus is strengthened for his ultimate sacrifice by the event of the transfiguration. The Father allows Jesus prior to his passion to be reaffirmed by the Father. Being transfigured, experiencing the glory of the Father was the Father’s affirmation. So are Moses and Elijah who testify to him that he is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets.

But the Father wanted also to assure the Apostles and confirm Jesus’ identity and his prediction of his upcoming passion and death. The Father’s message is simple. Listen to him. He is my chosen Son.

We are called to grow in our willingness to listen to Jesus and to act on his word, even though we don’t understand it fully. We are called like Abraham to put our faith in him who promises eternal life and union with him. We are called to conform our lives, as Paul tells us in Romans 12:2. “Do not conform your lives to this generation. But be transformed by the renewal of your minds, choosing the will of God, what is good, pleasing and perfect.”


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