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2nd Sunday of Lent,Transfigured of our Lord Cycle A

Hope, Inner Soul Room, Transfiguration

Cathdeac, Sunday, March 12, 2017

Peace be with you…

Well, I am happy to be with you at the start of Daylight Savings Time… 

Just think, since  you came to Mass tonight, you won’t have to wake up early tomorrow!   

Oh, and we are starting the second week of Lent for 2017..of course!

One week down, right? Great start??? Right?  Sure!!!

I bet most of us can list our well intentioned and perhaps the occasional successful results of our Lenten Fasts of “giving something up”…   I sure do!

I have grown up hearing it over and over…”What did you give up for Lent?”  The lists have been quite interesting over the years… like you, I set what I thought were reasonable goals.. I wanted a baseball, a baseball outfielder mitt… a bat… a fishing rod and of course a boat!  As a child I thought Lent was sort of like Christmas… If I did certain things during Lent, I might get something material… after all, that is how we show ‘love’ in our society today, shouldn’t God do the same?

Because I was a child, I reasoned as a child.  Those days, while sometimes remembered correctly, helped shape and form me into who I am… including the Call to the sacrament of Marriage and the Call to be a servant, to follow God’s call to the Permanent Diaconate… the process never ends… for any of us.  Look around the church any day and realize God is at work in everyone’s life… working on us to realize our vocation.. Marriage, single, religious, priest of Jesus Christ…

Maybe Lent plays a part in this work…

We should ask ourselves… Do we understand the reason and purpose for Lent well enough to live it??

If I do understand, well, there is always room for improvement.. right?

If I don’t understand, where do I begin?

Well, we only need to look at how God set things up.. very orderly.  This is how the Magisterium of the One True Church, the Catholic Church helps us understand God’s order… and realize, It is Good.

I told Fr. Paul this week, “When folks ask me; “What did you give up for Lent?” I tell them, “I gave up telling people what I gave up for Lent.”  

Why do I keep it to myself?

Let me admit to you, sharing my personal Lenten goals or how God is at work in my soul, is difficult… 

When I am tempted to really open up about the blessings… I hear the words of Jesus… in Matthew 6:6..  “But when you pray, go into your inner room, shut your door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen.  And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.  And when you pray, do not babble on like pagans, for they think that by their many words they will be heard.”

Sometimes, tho, God will not let me keep quiet… and I usually do as he commands… ok, maybe SOMETIMES I do… but it is not easy to do because We must be sure We don’t get in the way… Jesus must receive all the praise and glory…

So, if I ever slip up and ask specifically, “what did you give up for Lent?”  Please tell me… “I gave up telling anyone what I gave up for Lent..”  

That way, should God lead you in a different direction during Lent, you won’t see your Lenten commitment as a failure, but opening of your door to deeper prayer.. if you will follow His command.. to what God has to give, you will be on the path.. ! And, it is GOOD.

Ask yourself,  what about the INWARD and outward signs of the graces of Lent?  Would folks see how God is working in my life? Should I share the inward signs with others?  Are words really necessary or helpful? 

Probably not…  Not yet… because God is still working with us.. and it is a sacred time… we should pull back from the world.. go where God will be waiting for us.

Now, what about this prayer stuff?  What does Jesus mean when he says “go into your inner room”  Where is that?  How do I get there?  Am I afraid to go there?  The mystic, St. Teresa of Avila, wrote a book called the “Interior Castle”… it describes this ‘inner room’ of our soul where God meets each of us.. intimately. 

I don’t know about you… but my inner room can be a frightening place where in prayer, I encounter God.. where he challenges me to be perfect… with and by his grace, bit by bit.

His grace helps me let go of things that separate me from Him.. from Jesus himself… bit by bit… I can’t tell God how to do it… but it happens in my abandonment to His holy Will.. to grow in spirituality… in awareness of His presence.

Last week in Fr. Paul’s homily, he used the term “Microwave”… do you remember he said “Microwave Spirituality” was a fleeting comment.. the point being our world today want’s things to happen immediately…upon OUR command… Fortunately, God doesn’t work like that…he works in our ‘inner room’… bit by bit, in His order… and it is Good.

Let’s change gears a bit… let’s not talk about Lent… for a while, nor the process, the time which has passed, or what remains.   Instead, let’s talk about HOPE..  The hope brought to us through our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus.

What is HOPE?  Is it a mere human emotion to escape reality, or is it a deep truth, a trust that somewhere, sometime, that which we desire, shall come to be? 

Maybe HOPE is a deep abiding trust, a yearning for goodness.. Perhaps we begin to understand about HOPE during our prayer time in our inner room?  That sounds good.. but, where does hope, this trust have it’s roots and why do I care??

The roots of hope start deep in the mind of God, then are spoken into existence in the rich soil of creation in the Garden of Eden where God planted and tends it.. Because of His love.. We are aware of HOPE because God has planted it in us..

So, like all gardens that are planted, we wonder, “when is the harvest?”  For Christians.. harvest begins on Easter Sunday… Until then, we hope.

From planning, to planting, watching the weather… to harvest, we go from vision to work, to rest, to hope, to growth, to joy..  That is how God set things up… Isn’t that the order of how things work?  If we change the order of creation, things go downhill quickly, no matter how much I ‘hope’ for change.

Now, God’s creation, the planting, if you will, was GOOD… God spoke perfect potential “in the beginning” though The Word.. Through The Word of God… all creation, was springing forth and thriving because all creation responds to and glorifies The Word.  That is  because creation hears… it is all ‘in order’…and “it is GOOD”. 

Now, if I don’t hear ..or if I refuse to listen to The Word, I hear other things… things other than God. 

Why?  We need go no further than the account of  how Adam and Eve decided .. they CHOSE to disobey, to quit listening to God’s tender, fatherly voice of guidance.  Remember, God set up all existence to be in order.

Adam and Eve broke rank.. they listened to ‘another voice’…and SIN entered the world. They chose to sinfully cultivate the land of creation in furrows which allowed erosion of the rich, orderly topsoil, etching the Earth with deep wounds of sin.

Lent is our time to see where in our lives have we have chosen, like Adam and Eve, to reject The Word… Lent is where I can change the focus of my soul on meeting God in my inner room where he can show his loving plan for me. Lent is where I can properly tend the garden of the outside and the inner room of my soul..Because there is… Hope. Because I can.. Hope…

What does this have to do with today’s readings?  Good question.. let’s get to that.

In the first reading, the LORD said some things to Abram… he sent Abram forth from all he knew and was comfortable with.. family, even his father’s house… to a land God knew of, but kept  secret…

God promised, by doing as commanded, Abram would be the start of something new.. and receive the promise.. the promise that great things were awaiting Abram… both blessings and protection…  So, Abram must have been listening to the right voice… because we hear at the end of that scripture,  “Abram went as the LORD directed him.”.. Now, if you don’t recall, when you read this in your Bible at home, you will see how God worked that out.

In our Responsorial… like Abram, We hear… then we respond… today our response echoes the response to the first reading… perhaps Abram said something like this in response to hearing God’s voice, “Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.” 

Our second reading from 2Timothy could be Abram’s encouragement to those God gave him, to remind them God had called them.

They had listened… and God’s promise was fulfilled. Because they obeyed His truth… they have followed God’s design, not their own.. and God remained faithful..for he cannot deny himself.

In the Gospel, Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.  We are not told which ‘mountain’ they were on…  just “a high one”… we might see this as symbolic of our need to move up towards God… and on a mountain, it can be dangerous.. sometimes you have to crawl.. to get to the top.. 

Once there, Jesus was transfigured… he did not do this to himself.. but the light of God shone from and through his entire being.. it could not be contained… Jesus is The Word… so, of course he knows how to listen to his Father.. 

In the vision, the men saw Jesus, along with Moses and Elijah.. so, this MUST be God at work, revealing to them his plan.. his orderly design.

Peter thought, “Hey, this is what we were expecting to happen!  Finally we can stop all this wandering and being persecuted. We can set up tents here for all to come, see and believe!” 

Poor Peter, he is stuck in the material world.. Limited by his choice…reacting, at first, as Adam and Eve did when they chose to make their own decisions.. 

It seemed all was going well for Peter until God spoke from a bright cloud, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”  It was then the disciples fell prostrate!  They trembled in fear… they were probably saying “Oh, boy, now we’ve done it!”..  until Jesus touched them…then told them to rise and not be afraid.

The disciples began to realize that Jesus was the real deal… that God himself was pleased with His Son…

The disciples had a choice… listen to their own voice or listen to God.  This was the ‘come to Jesus’ moment for the disciples.  This is where they received their command, “Listen to him.”  God speaking, us listening, accepting, then responding in love…  This is order, this is Good.  The disciples also had their own inner room’s transfigured by Jesus… 

I suspect the trip down the mountain would have been very quiet…

Now the Gospel moves on… as Jesus charged his disciples.. "Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

It is good that we recognize God’s voice.  It is good we listen to God’s voice. It is good when we receive God’s voice, The Word, his son, in whom God is well pleased, and… we listen to him.. to The Word made flesh…   The Word which we can see during Mass, as the elements of bread and wine are consecrated.

Perhaps we can understand the elements being transfigured, not in a representative or symbolic way, but actually, truly into the Body and Blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ… right here on the altar when Fr. Paul says the words of consecration and we hear the Father say, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”

We should lovingly obey Jesus when he tells us     , not tell anyone until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.. The vision given to the disciples was intimate, for them alone, to strengthen the truth to them, to maintain their HOPE and to survive the upcoming struggle of  Christ’s Passion.  And so it is for us during Lent…

Lent is about learning and getting strong in Hope… Learning to open our soul to God’s voice, learning his order, learning, bit by bit of his unfathomable love and HOPE for us to be transfigured, as the Disciples were…to trust and Hope in Jesus.

Our own Lenten transfiguration begins in our “inner room”… where we can have the intimate encounter God seeks with us and we are finally able to hear “Listen to him”… be transfigured by Jesus, take up our cross and follow Him.

Jesus Christ be praised, forever!  Amen.


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SLIMC1 Secularist Liberal Intellectual Media Complex
GESGOEAEOT2 Gradually, Ever So Gradually, Over Eons And Eons Of Time
PEWAG3 Punctuated Equilibrium's Wild Assed Guess
TTRSTF4 Them There Real Scientifical Type Fellers
TTRSPTF5 Them There Real Smart Perfesser Type Fellers
TTRSJTF6 Them There Real Smart Journalistical Type Fellers
SNRTACBT7 Surely No Right Thinking Adult Could Believe Today
STNSEACPB8 Surely Today No Serious, Educated Adult Could Possibly Believe
WDN9 We Don't Know
BMDFP10 Baboons, Mongrel Dogs, Filthy Pigs
HBAACOTE11 Human Beings Are A Cancer On The Earth
ACLU12 Anti-Christian Litigation Union
FLORMPORIF13 Flagrant Liar, Or, Mindless Parrot, Or, Innocent Fool
MEJTML14 Marxist Ends-Justify-The-Means Liar
IEJTML15 Islamic Ends-Justify-The-Means Liar
MPAV16 Marxist Principles And Values
WBESSWG17 Wise, Benign, Elite, Super-Scientific World Governance
TRMITM18 The Reason Man's In This Mess
IYI19 Intellectual Yet Idiotic

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Atheist Genesis:

In the beginning there was nothing, and nothing happened to nothing.
And then nothing accidentally exploded and created everything.
And then some bits of everything accidentally encountered other bits of everything and formed some new kinds of everything.
And then some bits of everything accidentally arranged themselves into self-replicating bits of everything.
And then some self-replicating bits of everything accidentally arranged themselves into dinosaurs.

(See The Darwinism Pages)

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