Homily ·Lent
By Archbishop Gomez
March 17, 2019

My brothers and sisters in Christ,1

We continue our Lenten journey this morning and we reflect today on how we are living the life of Jesus. Not only during Lent — but every day of our lives.

We are baptized into the life of Jesus Christ. The life we live, he now lives with us.

And always, as we begin Lent, the Church shows us the pattern and promise of our life in Christ. As we know, always on the first Sunday of Lent, the Church presents us, as we reflected last week, with our Lord’s temptation in the desert; and on the second Sunday, we witness his transfiguration on the mountain.

I think we need to see our lives in the light of these mysteries. We are baptized and we are sent into the desert of this world, just as Jesus was. We walk with Jesus and seek to live out God’s plan for our lives. We face temptations and struggles, just as Jesus did, as we try lead a holy life in an unholy world.

We are on a journey, each one of us and all of us together in the Church. Our lives are a calling to continual conversion, to growing closer to Jesus.

And Jesus is always there with us. He helps us to meet the challenges and temptations in our lives. He keeps us on the straight and narrow path that leads to our destination, to what God has planned for us.

On this journey — the Christian journey, Jesus is leading us up to the mountain, just as we see him leading the disciples, Peter, John and James, in today’s Gospel.  

The mountain is heaven — where everything is filled with the light of the living God, where we will have a new body and a new life, where we will live forever in his glorious presence.

That’s what God wants for our lives. This is the beautiful promise of our Baptism. St. Paul tells us today in the second reading:

Our citizenship is in heaven …
He will change our lowly body
to conform to his glorified body.

This is also the journey that we are making during this holy season of Lent. During Lent, again, we are walking with Jesus from his passion and death to his glorious Resurrection. From Good Friday to Easter morning.

So, my dear brothers and sisters, it’s good to reflect on the fact that the goal of our lives is to be changed — to be transfigured into the image of Jesus.

So that’s why, in this second Sunday of Lent, the Church is asking us to reflect on the transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The Church is giving us a glimpse of the Resurrection. Today we see where it all leads — to the mountain where our lives are changed, where we are transfigured in the presence of Jesus Christ.

It’s always good to reflect on where we are going, don’t you think? It helps us to understand every single thing that we are doing.

But as I was reflecting on this passage of the Gospel, it really caught my attention to think of “why” Jesus brought his disciples to the mountain.

The Gospel tells us that Jesus took them up the mountain to pray with him.

When we pray, my dear brothers and sisters, we are always praying with Jesus. When we pray, we are always in his presence. As we know, the prayer that Jesus taught us begins, “Our Father, who art in Heaven.” Even when we are alone, we are praying with Jesus — to his Father and to our Father.

So prayer opens up the door to heaven; prayer allows the light to shine into the darkness of our lives. That’s exactly what happened in the Gospel today.

As we heard, while the disciples were praying, Jesus’ “face changed in appearance.” Jesus revealed his true nature to them, his divine nature. In his Transfiguration, they could see that he is true God and true man.

This is, my dear brothers and sisters, the gift of prayer. It is the gift of light and the gift of divine voice.

As we heard today, in the “dazzling white” of his glorious light, we can see the true Jesus. And we can also see the truth of Jesus in our prayer. In his glorious light we know that we are made to follow Jesus and become more like him every day of our lives — until one day we are raised up in the Resurrection and he changes our earthly body to be like his own glorious body.

But then also, Jesus took them to the mountain to pray with him. But then also, while they were talking to Jesus — praying, cause that’s what prayer is all about — they also heard the voice of God saying: “This is my chosen Son, listen to him.”

That’s prayer — talking to God and listening to God. And there when we listen to God, as we can see in this passage of the Gospel, we see God’s plan for our lives. To look upon the Father’s Son and to listen to him.

We need to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and we need to live by words and his example. This is the meaning of our life that is going to be transfigured when we go to Heaven.

So, this week, as we continue our Lenten journey, let us try to go to the mountain with Jesus in prayer.

Try to find a few minutes every day to be silent with Jesus in prayer. What St. Peter was saying didn’t make too much sense — he just wanted to be there forever, didn’t he? Sometimes when we talk to Jesus in our prayer, maybe we are asking for things that look very challenging — things that we are going through and we need the help of the grace of God.

Let’s do it. Let’s talk to Jesus just as the way St. Peter and the apostles talked to him. Let’s try to listen to him. Try to reflect on what is God’s plan for our lives.

Jesus is speaking to us all the time. But we have to listen to his voice. He is speaking in the pages of the Gospel and he’s also talking to us through the people that are around us — speaking to us in the people in our lives, especially those who need our attention, who need our care.

So let’s make that resolution today: to make time to listen to what God is asking us to do, especially in the lives of the people that we love, that are close to us — our brothers and sisters at home, at work, at school, in our ministries. And let us always have that conversation with Jesus, especially during this Lenten Season — finding the time to stop a pray, just as the Apostles did with Jesus on the Mount of the Transfiguration.

So let’s ask Mary our Blessed Mother for her intercession. May she help us to continue to follow Jesus and to share in his passion and death, so that we can share in the glorious light of his Resurrection on Easter morning.

1. Readings: Gen. 15:5-12, 17-18; Ps. 27:1, 7-9, 13-14; Phil. 3:17-4:1; Luke 9:28b-36.

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