Homily for the 2nd Sunday of Lent Year C
Theme: Manifestation of God’s Glory
By: Fr. Cyril Unachukwu CCE
Homily for Sunday, March 17 2019
The ultimate end of man is never in this transitory world, but in the world to come where the glory of God will fully be manifested to the souls of the just. The things we see and encounter in this life are useful and necessary means to prepare us for the glory that is to be revealed. These things realise their true purposes only when they become auxiliaries rather than obstacles on our path to God our Creator. May we never lose sight of our glorious end with God on account of the deceptive glittering nature of the material order; Amen.
The Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Gospel Reading (Luke 9:28-36) was an extraordinary experience for Peter, James and John, a great lesson in deed for the apostles and disciples and followers of our Lord Jesus Christ because “they saw His glory.” This is the glory which God invited us right from the creation of the world to come and inherit. To connect to the glory of God we must be disconnected from the deceptive glory of this world encrypted in material things and their subsequent position; a certain level of forgetfulness of matter. This is so because at a glimpse of this glory, matter loses all of its attraction and taste; matter becomes insipid. This was evident in the response of Peter at the sight of Jesus, Moses and Elijah in the glorious form; “Master, it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” Firstly, while still in this life, this disconnection must be lived, understood in the sense of being in the world but not of the world, in order to be connected to life eternal. This involves not being swayed by the distractive force of matter. Only in such manner can one live a life of detachment with great focus and attention on the eternal happiness that God has promised His people. Secondly, in the world to come, this disconnection is real, final and ontological because after death we exist only in the spiritual form and realm by virtue of his soul. The connection between the two is that the first necessarily leads to the second and the second is the fruit and reward of the first.
This exactly was the story of Abraham who answered the call of God, leaving everything behind to follow God. The covenant between Abraham and God recounted for us in the First Reading (Gen 15:5-12, 17-18) is borne out of the relationship Abraham established by his singular response to God which grew to become the fount of blessing for all generations to come; “to your descendants I give this land, from the wadi of Egypt to the Great River.” It was never an easy journey for Abraham and it will never be an easy one for us, especially faced with the challenges of the modern world and its glorification of matter. Hence, there is great need to be attentive because the signs of the time do not encourage us to live, like Abraham, beyond the vicissitudes of material glory that is finite and gravely unreliable. This is very serious because the material order has its disciples who speak to us sometimes very convincingly and at times even in the name of Christ. Much more than this, it speaks to us in ways that we cannot even physically contend, in the form of ideologies and atheistic philosophies, sometimes noisy and some other times calm and subtle; gradually entering and possessing our human components and faculties just like the breeze enters our body to cause cold and catarrh. This is a reality which the people of God have lived all through their history, which included the moral and spiritual inquisition of the faithful by “many who are behaving as the enemies of the cross of Christ. They are destined to be lost. They make foods into their god and they are proudest of something they ought to think shameful; the things they think important are earthly things. For us, our homeland is in heaven, and from heaven comes the Saviour we are waiting for, the Lord Jesus Christ, and He will transfigure these wretched bodies of ours into copies of His glorious body” (Phil 3:17-4:1). The Season of Lent is a period of formation in which through our practice of the Lenten disciplines, we learn stably to detach ourselves from the retrogressive weight of material things as to fix our sight and attention to heaven where our glory is and from where comes our salvation.
May the light of God continue to brighten our path and help us through the purifying effects of its warmth, heat and fire liberate us from every obstructive attachment to the flimsy attraction of transitory things to the recognition and attachment to the things that truly matter, to the God Who is always with us; Amen.
Happy Sunday; Fr Cyril CCE