Homily for the 2nd Sunday of Lent
How many of us have driven in heavy rain and the wipers cannot keep our windshields clear ? Or if we have ever been caught in a snowstorm, we know that the visibility is even less, especially with the dreaded white-outs. Or have had the experience of driving in the dense fog, not able to see much further than the hood of our car? (That never happens in Saint John… does it?)
When we could fly in a plane, the part that I always dreaded was going through the clouds when we were taking off or landing. You cannot see anything and I am always hoping and praying that there is not another plane coming at us in the opposite direction. All of these experiences with natural elements remind us how vulnerable we are.
And yet, it is in the natural elements that we have God appearing to the various prophets in the fire, the wind and water. Last week, I spoke about how God loved us into existence from the ‘nothingness’ of the dust. This weekend, God’s voice is heard from a cloud or ‘small water droplets’ on the mountaintop as Jesus is transfigured.
This is a story we have heard many times before. We hear how those with Jesus react to his transfiguration… shocked… gazed… afraid… Peter doesn’t stop talking… planning…filling the space, the space that was reserved for God’s voice. Along with Jesus who is transfigured, there are two prophets, Moses and Elijah. And yet, God is speaking reminding the disciples (and us) where our focus should be: on Jesus Christ.
We eavesdrop, as God names his Son, “beloved.” God’s command to listen to the Beloved Son is also a command to change. Being present and Listening is an important dimension to being a follower of Jesus, because in our listening we learn who Jesus is and allows us to change.
This past week, on our local news was a story of a couple driving found a man found on the side of the highway between Fredericton and Sussex. Thinking it was a bag of garbage the couple drove by it… then they saw the guitar case. They turned back and discovered a veteran trying to get home to his shack in the woods. By that encounter, the two that stopped and took the man home were changed. The man crying said, “It did something to me… it changed us.” The couple went to social media requesting help for this man. This couple was ‘transfigured’ by this experience… they listened to God speak to them through this poor down and out man who gave his life of service to our country.
God speaks to us all the time. Not just in the cloud experiences, but especially in the ordinary and the mundane. As well, God speaks to us in the most difficult of times of life; God speaks to us in the light and the shadows, the snowy cold and the warm green. God speaks to us in the clarity but also in our questioning and searching. God always speaks of Love, Charity and Hope.
Each of us Baptized into the life, death resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, have been baptized into God’s “belovedness.” This is our truth, our dignity with Jesus, this is our hope. In the Second Reading Paul writing to the Romans, reminds us that our hope and truth lie in the fact that we are the beloved in Jesus. “Is God not for us… than who can be against us?” Paul reminds us that despite our frailties, our foolishness, hardships and distresses, persecution, famine, disease, we cannot be separated from our beloved Jesus Christ. That in itself is a transfiguring experience.