Sunday, February 21, 2016

Homily for 2nd Sunday of Lent

CH-CH-CH-Changes!  Turn and face the strain, Changes!
Don’t want to be a richer man – just gonna have to be a different man!  Changes! The incomparable David Bowie; who we lost just a few weeks ago.
Yes, we all know about change because each of us have experienced both simple and significant changes throughout our lives.  So many changes!  We have experienced both happy and pleasant changes, like when I became a grandpa, and challenging changes, like my wife’s recent health scare.  She’s fine by the way!  And changes can be sad, like when I lost my mom a few years back.  Still change happens!
I listened to those lyrics from David Bowie again Friday night: gonna have to be a different man.  And I heard these beautiful lyrics once while on a retreat: Change my heart oh God, may I be like You!
As people of faith, we are called to change; to be a different man and to change our hearts like those of Him!
So we find ourselves at this second Sunday of Lent; a time where we are building anticipation for the change we will experience.  To help us prepare for change, the Church always gives us on this particular Sunday, the Gospel of the Transfiguration.  This year we hear the Transfiguration from the pages of the Gospel of Luke.  But why the Transfiguration today; why a moment of profound change now?  Because just like Lent prepares us for the coming passion, death and resurrection of Jesus, the Transfiguration does the same exact thing.  Jesus knows that great change is coming soon, and the Transfiguration will help his Apostles and his friends, endure the days to come.  Today’s Gospel passage marks great change in the ministry of Jesus Christ.  It is now time for his Lordship to be revealed.  On a very high mountain, with Peter, James and John along for the journey, Jesus is present with the two great Old Testament figures of Moses & Elijah as He reveals His true glory as God!  A moment of great change; Jesus at the Transfiguration is glorified; Son of Man and Son of God the Father!
And this great moment of change, is truly a moment of Trinitarian glory.  Jesus, truly present as fully human and fully divine with the Holy Spirit, in the form of a cloud, and God the Father, speaking those powerful words: This is my beloved Son, listen to Him!  Oh most Holy Trinity, undivided unity, God immortal, be adored!
This Transfiguration, this great moment of change, is used by Jesus to prepare others for pending great change.  By giving a glimpse of His divinity to Peter, James and John, He hopes to give them courage and perseverance for the day when Jesus will ascend another high mountain, the Mount of Calvary.  And on that day, and the days to follow, the greatest change indeed will come; the greatest act of love that opened heaven for us!
So we see that Lent, and the Transfiguration is a time of change and preparation.  Today is a very good day to be here, to discuss our Lenten journey and ask ourselves, will I really use this Lent to change; to really change?
For Lent, have we made a commitment to give up something?  If so, do we do so with joy?  Do we understand why we do this?
Have we made a decision to do something kind or generous for another?  If so, do we do so with joy?  Do we understand why we do this? 
For us here at St. Jane have we visited the Sacrament of Reconciliation in Lent?  If not, make a plan to do so soon!  Please pay attention to our bulletins as in March we will be offering additional times for Reconciliation!
Have we attended one of the Stations of the Cross? We have Stations every Friday evening at 7 PM.  Come to Stations of the Cross!  It is a beautiful prayer, a devotion, as we walk with Jesus on His journey to Calvary.
Do we plan to attend our Lenten mission with the Fathers of Mercy; an opportunity to learn more about our need to change?  We have been strongly promoting this Mission because we know it can be transformative!  The dates are February 29th thru March 3rd and our speaker will be with us at every Mass next weekend.
In the week ahead, can we make a commitment to pray the Rosary, perhaps the Luminous Mysteries on Thursday since one of the mysteries is the Transfiguration?  Or perhaps I can pray with today’s Scripture and reflect on my own need to change?
Yes, it might be our time to face the strain, to be the different man, to change my heart.

CH-CH-CH-Changes; it’s time to change!

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