Homily for the 2nd Sunday of Lent Year C
Theme: Trusting in the Promised Transformation
By: Fr. Luke Ijezie
Homily for Sunday March 13 2022
1. This second Sunday of Lent presents to us the account of the mysterious transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain. All the other readings speak of one form of transformation or the other. The call is to remain steadfast in faith with confidence that God who promises the transformation will surely fulfil His promise despite the trials of the moment.
2. The first reading from Genesis 15 presents God’s covenant with Abraham, the content of which is the gift of land and innumerable descendants. On his part, Abraham remains hopeful, even though he poses the question of how such would be possible as the visible signs of the moment appear to contradict the realisation of such a transforming experience. One can imagine the stress Abraham goes through all day trying to ward off the birds of prey from consuming the carcass of his sacrificial animals. It dramatizes the pain and anguish involved in remaining faithful and waiting for God to fulfil His promise. The psalmist of Psalm 27, however, encourages us that there is nothing to fear as the Lord is our light and our help. We only need to hope and hold firm.
3. The second reading from Philippians 3:7-4:1 raises the bar a little bit. The promised transformation is not to be understood in earthly materialistic terms. All who think that way easily become enemies of the Cross of Christ. They see everything only in terms of material success and material breakthrough. The fact is that our homeland is in heaven not here on earth. The promise is that of transfiguration of this wretched body of ours into a glorious body like that of the glorified Jesus. This is the basis of our hope. No earthly trial or hardship should distract our gaze and hope from that goal.
4. The Gospel text from Luke 9:28-36 concretizes this glorious transformation in the account of the transfiguration of Jesus. The account gives the Apostles of Jesus a foretaste of the promised glory which Jesus has come to accomplish. It is a transformation that passes through a painful process. According to the account, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory with Jesus, were speaking with him about one thing – his passing or exodus which he was to accomplish in Jerusalem. This is very significant. What is this passing or exodus of Jesus? This can be no other than the passion and death of Jesus. It is noteworthy that these great men are appearing in glory and still discussing suffering. Peter and his companions thought that it was all bliss, as they wanted to keep staying there. The message is that the transformation is sure to come, but we need to pass through the painful process. No cross, no crown! There is no short cut to glory. All who try to cut off the painful process are the enemies of the Cross. The voice from heaven presents Jesus as the one to listen to. This means he is the unique guide in the process of attain the promised glory.
5. The readings encourage us to keep struggling as God will surely keep His promise. Our struggles are surely not in vain. Most of the time, the realities we see around us discourage us. Sometimes we wonder why God is delaying in rewarding our good efforts just as we continually behold what appears as the triumph of evil people in the world. Like Abraham, we are inclined to ask, How are we to know that we shall inherit what is promised? And yet like Abraham, we are encouraged to keep hoping and keep trusting God.
May this God in whom we have put our hope never abandon or disappoint us! Amidst the many miseries and doubts that confront us, may God’s face ever shine on us and may we continue to see His goodness in the land of the living!
Fr. Luke Ijezie