Homily for the Second Sunday of Lent (A) (08th March, 2020) on the Gospel
Ps 32:4-5.18-20.22 (R. v.22);
Those days, when rice was the major thing that gives children joy whenever they remember Sunday for those families who could afford it every Sunday and major solemnities like Christmas. Children could stay wherever they visited and noticed that rice was being prepared for as long as it would take to prepare it. Telling a child before he or she partakes of it that someone is looking for him or her would most certainly fall on deaf ears. Sometimes, each child could get just a handful or even something less than that. One would always get the best from children just with the promise of giving them rice because it was what they wanted.
Topic: Our Dwelling Place.
Conditions in life both those considered favourable and those considered unfavourable do make some think that they have reached the final bus stop. Some who consider their conditions favourable are ready to do anything to see that they remained in it whereas some of those who do not like theirs are equally ready to do anything to change it. At the sight of the transfiguration of Jesus in today’s gospel Peter said: “Lord it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”. This was before the condition he considered favourable. This same Peter rebuked Jesus when He foretold His passion and death saying: “God forbid, Lord! This shall never happen to you” (Matt 16:22) and even denied Him during His passion and death, cf. (Matt 26:70, 72, 74). Job rightly asked: “Shall we receive the good at the hand of God, and not receive the bad?” (Job 2:10).
Every condition is for at least a lesson. Reading the gospel further: “While he [Peter] was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!’”. The voice made no reference to what made the apostles preferred to remain on the high mountain but delivered the message, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” In the Book of Exodus we also read a passage similar to this where the angel of God appeared to Moses in a flame of fire out of a bush. When Moses turned to see why the bush was not burnt God called him and sent him on a mission, cf. Ex 3:1-12.
We are called anew this period of lent to believe the gospel bearing in mind what we are and where we are going to–dust. Hence, on Ash Wednesday, while receiving the ash, we were told either ‘Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel’ or ‘Remember, man, you are dust and to dust you will return’. Which means no matter the condition we find ourselves in this life we must surely leave this world one day for our eternal home, cf. Eccl 12:5. Only those who followed the footsteps of Christ can enter that eternal home, cf. Rev 21:27. We are called to deny ourselves, take up our crosses and follow Christ, (cf. Mk 8:34-35) who is the head, cf. 1Cor 12:27; Col 1:18. St Paul in his Second Letter to the Corinthians urges us thus:
So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For all of us must appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil (2Cor 5:9-10).
Remember when you are in a condition you do not like that “He that goes forth weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him” (Ps 126:6). The home in question is heaven because our commonwealth is in heaven, cf. Phil 3:20. We should not forget our home at the face of either what we want or what we do not want like the children in our story. Saint Paul correctly quoted, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1Cor 2:9; cf. Is 64:3). Or do you prefer a bird at hand? Permit me to end this reflection with quotation from Joshua: “...if you be unwilling to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Josh 24:15).
Bible Readings: Ex 3:1-12; Ezek 18:1-32; 2Cor 4:16–5:10; Phil 3:12-21.
Thought for today: We are members of the household of God (cf. Eph 2:19).
Let us pray:
God our Father, author of all that is good, help us to make the best out of this lent because without you we can do nothing – Amen.
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