2nd Sunday of Lent (C)
SALVATION ARMY (2:42) – Inspired by the Founder of The Salvation Army’s famous rallying call, this is a new reimagining of ‘I’ll Fight’ for 2020. William and Catherine Booth fought tirelessly for justice and for God’s will to be done. Will you?
FEATURED HOMILY ANECDOTE
“I’ll Fight, I’ll Fight,
I’ll Fight to the Very End”
William Booth (1829 – 1912) who became disillusioned with the political wrangling of the Methodists, left his church and started the Salvation Army, a Christian mission in the poverty-stricken East Side of London that reached out to the worst., declaring war on poverty and homelessness. Or, as William Booth said:
“While women weep, as they do now. I’ll fight. While children go hungry, as they do now, I’ll fight. While there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I’ll fight, I’ll fight, I’ll fight to the very end.”
That was over one hundred years ago. It seems like the kind of war all of us could get behind, the war on poverty, the war on homelessness.
Maybe it’s time for another William Booth… Discipleship is a matter of your heart. “Turn your eyes upon Jesus,/Look full in His wonderful face,” as Peter did on the Mount of Transfiguration. He’ll give you a lift. He’ll give you a life.
NOTE: These words still reverberate today in 2022 with President Zelenskyy (who is Jewish) refusing an American offer to evacuate Ukraine, insisting that he would stay. “The fight is here,” he said. He and many of the Ukrainian people are willing to die to uphold their home country, their freedom and democracy.
The readings for the Second Sunday of Lent highlight Jesus’ identity as God’s beloved Son (revealed at his baptism by John and Transfiguration) and confront us with the mystery of Jesus’ death on the cross. In order to experience the joy of Easter in this life and the joy and glory of the Resurrection in the next life, we need to face the Cross head-on. Each of the Synoptic Gospels contains an account of the Transfiguration (Mt 17:1-9; Mk 9:2-10; Lk 9:28-36). No such account appears in the Gospel of John, in which one might say that Jesus is somewhat transfigured as the transcendent Son of God on earth all the way through! The Transfiguration is also referred to in 2 Pt 1:18. The main theme of today’s readings is an invitation as well as a challenge to us to do what Abraham did — put our Faith in the loving promises of the merciful God — Who sent His Son to die for us and to transform our lives by renewing them during Lent. Our transformed lives will enable us to radiate the glory and grace of the transfigured Lord to all around us by our Spirit-filled lives. The three readings describe the spiritual transformation experiences of three of our heroes in the Faith, Abraham, Paul and, of course, Jesus.
The first reading describes the transformation of Abram, a pagan patriarch, into a believer in the one God (Who would later “transform” Abram’s name to Abraham), and the first covenant of God with Abraham’s family as a reward for Abraham’s Faith and obedience to God.
The Responsorial Psalm (Ps 91), points to Satan’s third temptation of Jesus in the desert as recorded in Luke’s Gospel.
The Responsorial Psalm (Ps 27) declares that Faith, singing, “I believe that I shall see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living.” In the second reading, St. Paul argues that it is not observance of the Mosaic Law and circumcision that transforms people into Christians, and hence, that Gentiles need not become Jews to become Christians. St. Paul urges us to stand firm in our Faith and to live a life of discipleship with Jesus now, so that we may share in a glorious future later.
In the Transfiguration account in today’s Gospel, Jesus is revealed as a glorious figure, superior to Moses and Elijah. The primary purpose of Jesus’ Transfiguration was to allow Him to consult his Heavenly Father in order to ascertain His plan for His Son’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. The secondary aim was to make Jesus’ chosen disciples aware of his Divine glory, so that they might discard their worldly ambitions and dreams of a conquering political Messiah and might be strengthened in their time of trial. On the mountain, Jesus is identified by the Heavenly Voice as the Son of God. Thus, the Transfiguration experience is a Christophany, that is, a manifestation or revelation of Who Jesus really is. Describing Jesus’ Transfiguration, the Gospel gives us a glimpse of the Heavenly glory awaiting those who do God’s will by putting their trusting Faith in Him.
Choose AS MANY AS TIME ALLOWS
(1) The “transfiguration” in the Holy Mass is the source of our strength: In each Holy Mass, the bread and wine we offer on the altar become “transfigured” or transformed (transubstanted) into the living Body and Blood soul and Divinity of the crucified, risen, and glorified Jesus. Just as Jesus’ Transfiguration was meant to strengthen the apostles in their time of trial, each holy Mass should be our source of Heavenly strength against temptations, and for our Lenten renewal.
(2) Each time we receive one of the Sacraments, we are transformed: For example, Baptism transforms us into sons and daughters of God and heirs of heaven. Confirmation makes us temples of the Holy Spirit and warriors of God. By the Sacrament of Reconciliation, God brings back the sinner to the path of holiness. (
3) The Transfiguration of Jesus offers us a message of encouragement and hope: In moments of doubt and during our dark moments of despair and hopelessness, the thought of our own transfiguration in Heaven will help us to reach out to God and to listen to His consoling words to Jesus: “This is my beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased — listen to Him!” and so share the glory of His transfiguration.
4) We need “mountain-top experiences” in our lives: We share the mountain-top experience of Peter, James, and John when we spend extra time in prayer during Lent. Fasting for one day can help the body to store up spiritual energy. This spiritual energy can help us have thoughts that are far higher and nobler than our usual mundane thinking.
End of homily
Jokes of the Week
At the end of Mass, some priests like to offer a joke to their parishioners. Please be sensitive though to particular circumstances or concerns. Some Jokes may not be suitable for particular times, placeS, OR CONGREGATIONS.
# 1: The old farmer from the countryside who was visiting a big city for the first time with his son, stood speechless before the elevator of a big hotel, watching in wonder, as an old woman got into the elevator and, within minutes, a beautiful young woman came out. He called out to his son who was registering at the reception. “Son, come on here, put your mother into that miracle machine immediately. It will transform her into a beautiful young lady.”
# 2: At the transfiguration Peter offered to build three tents, one for Jesus, one for Moses and one for Elijah. Jesus said, “And what about you, Peter?” And Peter replies, “Don’t worry about me Lord, I got a better place in Jaffa.”
Fr. Tony started his homily ministry (Scriptural Homilies) in 2003 while he was the chaplain at Sacred Heart residence, applying his scientific methodology to the homily ministry. By word of mouth, it spread to hundreds of priests and Deacons, finally reaching Vatican Radio website (http://www.vaticannews.va/en/church.html). Fr. Tony’s homilies reach nearly 3000 priests and Deacons by direct email every week.
Please be patient
as page loads
Please be patient
as page loads