Bottom line: We find fulfillment on the mountain top with Jesus. Listen to him.
Last Sunday we saw Jesus as a man immersed in the Scriptures who countered Satan's temptations. Imitating Jesus we desire immersion in the God's Word. The importance of the Bible for us as Catholics, we can see from the fact that at our Masses we read from every section of the Scriptures. Not only that, almost every word of the Mass comes from or is based on the Bible.
Still, it's not enough that words simply enter our ears. We want God's Word to live in our hearts. Today's Gospel shows how that can happen.
The opening verse states: "Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves." Jesus wants us to take time apart with him. In your home do you have some place for prayer? Maybe a corner with a candle, crucifix, or sacred image. I know some people use cell phone apps to pray. That's great if it works. Most of us need to turn off the cell phone so we can give time completely to Jesus. He desires to lead us to the mountain top.
On the mountain top we can hear the Father's voice: "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him." In the Catholic Church we have a time tested way of listening to Jesus - lectio divina. It literally means "divine reading". Take a passage from the Bible and read it slowly, stopping where it speaks to you. It may speak hope, repentance, trust. What that voice says, listen.
I've found the daily Mass readings almost always have a word I need to hear. I may feel discouraged like a Confederate soldier at the end of the Civil War- like I've fought in vain for a lost cause. Then I come upon a verse like the one from our first reading: "I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you". I realize God's mercy is not ended, that he renews it every morning.
When you and I go apart with Jesus and listen to him, he often exceeds our expectations, our wildest expectations, as we hear today: "he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light". In Christ you and I will be transformed. C.S. Lewis expressed it this way:
"People often ask when the next step in evolution - the step to something beyond man - will happen. But on the Christian view, it has happened already. In Christ a new kind of man appeared: and the new kind of life which began in Him is to be put into us."
Bishop Bob Barron had a more earthy comparison: "We are like grubs who are waiting to be monarch butterflies."
No matter how much you or I have - health, money, friendship - we still feel restless, even empty and unfulfilled. Even as we appreciate the wonderful things about this life, we are never really at home. We find our true self on the mountain top with Jesus. Listen to him. Amen.
Homilies for Second Sunday of Lent ("Transfiguration Sunday")
Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)
Take the Plunge Bible Study (audio resources) *New episodes for Ordinary Time leading up to Lent*
Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish.
Other Priests' Homilies, Well Worth Listening:
Fr. Frank Schuster
Fr. Brad Hagelin
Fr. Jim Northrop
Fr. Michael White
Fr Pat Freitag (and deacons of St. Monica)
Bishop Robert Barron
Bulletin (St. Mary of Valley Parish)
Parish Picture Album
MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru