Here is my homily for the weekend. God bless you!
2nd Sunday of Lent, Cycle A
March 4/5, 2023
Isaiah 12:1-4a; Timothy 1:8b-10; Matt 17:1-9
The ancient Fathers of the Church and other commentators of the Sacred Scriptures tell us that the Transfiguration of the Lord, of which we hear today in the Gospel, was a special grace given to Peter, James, and John. It was a vision of the divinity of Jesus, a vision that clearly showed that Jesus was in fact God and Man, a vision given to them to later strengthen them when they witnessed the Passion and Death of Jesus.
So, what if anything does this have to do with our lives? Is it possible for us to have such a vision to strengthen us when we are face with trials? My answer is “Yes”! I believe the Transfiguration is meant for all of us.
Recently I learned that the kids at St. Mary’s school celebrated my “half-birthday”. I had to chuckle when I heard this. It seems the older I get, the more often I am reminded of my age! People now celebrate how old I am getting every six months! They must worry that I won’t make another entire year! More seriously, it made me think of how I have prayed over the years.
I did a lot of talking to God when I was a child and into early adulthood. My mother had taught me many prayers. The Church had taught me many others with the Mass, the sacraments, and other liturgies. So, I said a lot to God in those years.
When I entered later adulthood, my prayer evolved into a lot of doing and commitments. I decided to do this and do that for God. I put together plans and developed habits to which I committed myself. I tried to develop a more virtuous and disciplined life.
Now that I am old enough to celebrate half-birthdays, my prayer has become listening…. Just listening and trying to hear what God is saying to me and wanting me to do. I continue to say prayers and do what I have committed myself to do, but I do a lot more listening now.
Someone once said that children talk and ask for what they want and need,young men dream dreams and ask why not, and old men have visions of what has been and will be.
I think in our prayer lives we can talk, ask, dream, and have the vision God wants for us. I think we too can experience the Transfiguration in that way.
Let me suggest two different but related ways how this could happen for you.
First, by gazing at a crucifix, an icon, or piece of religious art.
Second, by gazing on the Blessed Sacrament where Jesus is truly present.
How do we gaze before a crucifix, an icon, or the Blessed Sacrament?
1. We begin as children and talk to God about whatever is on our minds and by beg God for the grace we most need.
2. Then we pray as adults by making a commitment to a certain length of time, and following through with that prayer commitment.
3. Lastly, we pray as old men and do nothing but rest, look, and listen. We just gaze, do nothing, and say nothing. We waste time with God.
I am convinced that if we pray in these ways, God will grant us a sort of vision, a glimpse of his power and beauty that will strengthen us. It most likely won’t be a vision like we usually think of visions, but we will experience God.
In today’s gospel, the Father’s voice was heard telling Peter, James, and John to listen to His Son Jesus. God says the same thing to each of us. Listen to Jesus! We must talk, make a plan and commit to it, and then listen and look. The Church provides us what we need.
It is hard to over state the importance of prayer. It is hard to over emphasize the importance of talking to God, begging him for the grace we need, having a prayer plan, and then simply gazing upon him and listening.
My challenge to our youth is to bare your soul to God. Talk to him. Ask him for what you need. He wants to hear from you. He loves you.
My challenge to all adults is to make a prayer plan. Make a plan for your lives and give it to God and see what he says about it.
My challenge to all our seniors is be at peace and listen. God is with you. He never abandons you. He loves you, and you have much to teach us about prayer.
I assure all of you that if you pray like this, you will find strengthen in times of hardship, and you will experience a vision of God’s love for you.
Yes, the Transfiguration is for all of us.