March 1st. Second Sunday of Lent Year B.

Introduction:
This Sunday we’ve the story of Christ’s transfiguration on Tabor. Usually his divinity was hidden, but there His body became radiant like at the resurrection. The Father appeared and said: “this is my beloved son listen to him”. Lets confess any failure to listen, to allow his light to fulfil our souls….

Homily
Rose Kennedy, the Irish-American head of the Kennedy clan, states: “it is interesting to reflect on what has made my life even with its moments of pain, an essentially happy one; I have come to the conclusion that the most important element in human life is faith”. Tolstoy, author of “War and Peace”, reached the same conclusion. At 51 the world’s greatest intellect felt empty inside. Then he says: “a light shone within me and around me and this light has not abandoned me since”, the Gospel light.
At this time of the year, struggling towards Spring, with a lot of sad things happening in the world, we too need that light. Today’s gospel shows us where its to be found. On Tabor we see the spirit descend on Jesus and the Father say: “This is my beloved son listen to him”. Like Tolstoy or Rose Kennedy if we listen to him, light will flood our lives too, we’ll find a happiness the world cannot give.
We already opened our hearts to him at baptism when we became his children and received his Spirit. May his Word live in our hearts, through mass, personal prayer and the sacraments; by spreading the faith to others and by being the faithful of his church. At baptism and confirmation we promised to do that. Lets renew that commitment this lent by prayer and penance.
“This is my beloved son listen to him”. The sad casualties of our age are those who stopped listening to Christ. Deceived by secular propaganda, they let worldliness and Satanic arrogance turn their light to darkness. “What doth it profit a man if he gain the world & lose his soul” scripture says. Wise people know that the godless world’s values leave us dead inside, but faith is our everlasting light, glory and inner grace.
Which reminds me of the testimony of a Russian believer who spent 15 years in a Siberian labour camps during the communist era. He crawled in damp mines with death always close. “Men the same as me died in the camps”, he says. The difference was I trusted in God and so was never alone; it was not I who kept the faith, it was the faith that kept me”. So faith is more than believing, its clinging to God for dear life amid the trials and suffering of life; its listening to his Christ who is the way, the truth and the life. Its opening our hearts to his grace.
I often wonder why so many commit suicide nowadays. Perhaps one reason is that increasingly deprived of God by a hard secular society, in crises they’ve no solid ground to stand on. So I say to parents, appreciate the gift your children receive at baptism, Holy Communion and Confirmation. The lord lights them through life’s darknesses unto eternal life. Tolstoy, Rose Kennedy and billions of Saints knew this. As baptised faithful lets renew that light within us this Lent so as to rise with Christ at Easter. For when all fails, He is lord of love, peace, happiness and salvation for this world and forever and ever, amen.
So as Gods own, renewing a commitment this Lent to listen to his Christ and be faithful to his church, lets profess our faith..

Prayers of the faithful
The just man lives by faith, scripture says: as God’s people, listening to & trusting in him, we ask for what we need.

For the Holy Father & bishops of the church, that they may listen to Christ, and radiating trust in Him, bring the church and the world to His glorious light.

For those struggling in the darkness of unbelief, especially our youth, may their doubts be dispelled; like the apostles on Tabor may they listen to Christ and experience His beauty, truth and timeless radiance to light up their lives forever…

For Parents and teachers, that they may hand on faith in Jesus, the Risen light of the world, to the young people of our time.

For those who are sick, lonely or oppressed; may the light of Christ that shone out so powerfully on Tabor light up their lives and may they may experience His love through our care for them.

For the dead, especially those who have died recently.. or those whose anniversaries occur at this time. May they come into the light, peace and happiness of their heavenly home.

Heavenly Father, as we journey through this vale of joys & tears, help us to listen to Christ & experience His presence in the people around us and in the events of daily life. We ask this through Christ our Lord in the power of His holy Spirit, amen.

Reflection:
Once speaking in school about faith, I saw a child was miles away. He had a phone and was texting away the whole time. “This is my beloved Son, listen to him”, God says. But it can be difficult to do so amid a host of modern distractions – TV, Radio, Video Games, mobile phones, computer tablets. We can be so immersed in these that all other voices fade, especially that of God in our lives. So its wise to set aside a quiet time every day to commune with our family, nature and the Lord. Each year I climb Croagh Patrick and there the Lord speaks to me like he did to Patrick, or the apostles on Tabor. Lets all have a mountain, a room, or sacred place at home where we can pray and feel Christ’s presence raising us up to glorious light and peace..Hail Mary

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