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Homily - 1st March 2015 Second Sunday of Lent, B

posted 27 Feb 2015, 04:03 by St Wilfrid RC Haltwhistle   [ updated 6 Nov 2015, 00:44 by StJohns Annitsford ]

1st March 2015 Second Sunday of Lent, B

H.B. & Hw.
(Scripture in Church, Nos: 153 & 165)

The word is concerned with people living on the edge. Is there anywhere else to live, I ask myself? The word is concerned with people living on the edge and supported by faith. And faith makes all the difference. 

Abraham does not waver despite his hopeless-seeming situation. Paul has a passionate faith in the support of Jesus Christ. Peter, James and John glimpse the mystery of Christ. That glimpse supports them through their darkest days. People living on the edge and supported by faith!

So high on the mountain, Jesus' ordinariness is swallowed up. The mystery and the wonder that is Jesus Christ shines forth, is revealed and evident. In a flash, Jesus escapes the limitations and constraints of body and flesh. The disciples are completely mind blown, felled and amazed. They see that the ordinary is extraordinary. Behind a body and personality, undoubtedly gifted and special, but still ordinary and familiar, is something exceptional, phenomenal in fact and deeply, deeply mysterious.

We are invited to pause. The Transfiguration invites us to look, fix our gaze and discover the extraordinary in our everyday lives. The poet, Patrick Kavanagh, puts it: to rescue "the world beneath our noses." "Solidly based phenomena are transformed by a shimmer of inner reality" writes Seamus Heaney. And John Montague describes "the landscape (as) a manuscript waiting to be read". The poets help us to cope with the religious vision we experience in receiving the inspired word. We look, reflect and pray about this Lenten word which is full of gift, wonder and mystery. That mystery which is the Christ is breaking out all around us. In faith we see, hear, touch and feel a new dimension in all our living. The feverish thinking about our future and oh, so many things, gives way to vision. A vision of the really real, of gift and value, the Christ.

So we let the Transfiguration event teach us to see behind and beyond. Success, failure, sadness, life, death, behind and beyond all human experience is a new risen life. The Transfiguration invites us to experience that risen life even now, in this our world with all its crooked lines. There will be definitive transformation; but even now our lives are transfigured by a living faith in Jesus Christ.

Let's learn to meditate, to access the `behind' and the 'beyond'. Learn for example, to meditate on paper.

Drawing and writing are ways of meditating. As Thomas Merton writes, "Learn how to contemplate works of art.

Learn how to pray in the streets or in the country. Know how to meditate not only when you have a book in your hand but when you are waiting for a bus or riding in a train.

Above all, enter into the Church's liturgy and make the liturgical cycle part of your life - let its rhythm work its way into your body and soul." (New Seeds of Contemplation)

Then we can live fully, even on the edge, supported by our Christian faith and vision.