Homily for the 2nd Sunday of Lent Year C
Theme: BY GRACE AND CONSTANT STRUGGLE, YOU CAN TRANSFORM THE OLD SELF.
By: Fr. Clem C. Aladi.
Homily for Sunday March 17 2019
GOSPEL: LUKE 9:28B-36.
” *To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often* ”
– John Henry Newman
My dearest people of God on this second Sunday of Lent, we are reminded that if we cooperate with the grace of God through the spirit we can achieve an interior transformation of the self; a transformation that will bring about a renewed self and a better version of our selves, so that we can radiate the light of the transfigured Lord to those who encounter us, by our spirit-filled lives.
~In the readings, the first reading describes the transformation of a pagan patriarch into a believer in the one God, the transformation of his name from Abram to Abraham, and the first covenant of God with Abraham’s family as a reward for Abraham’s obedience to God.
~In the second reading, St. Paul argues that it is not the observance of the Mosaic Law and circumcision that transforms people into Christians, and hence, that Gentiles need not become Jews to become Christians.
~ 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 his 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.
~One thing that is constant in life is change. We all change to be better or bad persons. Parents desire their children to be better citizens. Married people expect each other to change and be better persons. People in a relationship expect their partners to change for the better. Everyone wants another to change and be better persons. But do we really desire to change our lives to be the better version of our selves, or simply expect those around us to change for good? Lent is a special period of cultivating the grace and virtues needed for change and personal transformation. But unless we desire to change to be better children of God and work towards achieving this goal, it will simply end up as mere wishful thinking. If you believe that your life needs transformation; that there is something in you that needs to be improved on, ask yourself what goals have you have set to achieve that or are you simply dreaming of a better you?
~It is not by our personal efforts alone that we can achieve personal transformation. Our Personal efforts must be accompanied by our cooperation with the grace of God to make personal transformation achievable. No matter how many times you have struggled to overcome a sinful habit or an addiction without success, don’t give up because God has not finished with you and can never give up on you; He is with you in your struggles.
~The reading of this second Sunday of Lent emphasises transformation and interior renewal because this is the time we are more opportune spiritually through penances, forgiveness, prayer, fasting and good works, to achieve an interior renewal.
~This is is a time to fast, from sinful desires, a time to deprive the self of those attractions that lure it to sin. Just as fire quenches when deprived of oxygen, sinful desires die or quench when deprived of those occasions, persons or things that nurture them. In Prayers, we obtain the grace to fight these sinful desires. In Almsgiving we denounce those things we are so much attached to; those things that preoccupy our daily lives and routine imposing themselves as gods controlling our lives. Are you willing to let them go if you are really concerned about interior renewal and transforming yourself? Remember the wise counsel of saints: *it is better to stay away from an occasion of sin than to fight sin while on the occasion*. If you desire spiritual transformation, be prepared to stay away from occasions that lead you to sin.
~We need to be strengthened in the fight against sin and temptations. 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: “This is my beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased — listen to Him!” and so share the glory of His transfiguration.
~May our reception of the Holy Eucharist transform our lives and change us to be better children of God. *No one is born evil or created to be an instrument of disaster to others. Harsh realities and experiences of life might have transformed you, making you look like a monster at heart, but you are not a monster you are a good person, you are a child of God. You can drop those ugly behaviours that paint you black and embrace a godly life* . Nothing is impossible for a determined soul. Even if you have committed the worst crimes, God still *.nts you back. *Remember every saint has a past and sinners like us have a future of becoming saints*. To be perfect, you must keep changing to be good. *”To reach something good, it is useful to have gone astray”.* -St. Teresa of Avila
Don’t give up His grace is sufficient for you.
” *When you find your definitions in God, you find the very purpose for which you were created. Put your hand into God’s hand, know His absolutes, demonstrate His love, present His truth, and the message of redemption and transformation will take hold”* – Ravi Zacharias
May Jesus who died on the cross for our sins transform our sinful and selfish desires into selfless and virtuous desires. May we become transformed to be better children of God and experience freedom, liberation and transformation through our Lenten observances.
I keep you and your family always in my prayers.
Fr. Clem C. Aladi.