Fr Noel's Homilies

Buzzword - Transformation
The point of the Christian exercise is transformation - to find spiritual value in all that we do. Every good deed informed by Faith has spiritual value. Today€™s readings speak to us of this need to establish balance between the divine and the human in our lives.

Genesis 12:1-4
Here we are introduced to circumstances governing the covenant - agreement- between god and the Chosen People in which, in return for their loyalty, the faithful would be granted fulfilled living in terms of the good things of life - a land of their own and prosperity.

Timothy 1: 8-10
St. Paul takes this promise and translates it into more fundamental concepts, namely, immortality and ultimate union with the source of life made possible by the merits of Christ.

Matthew 17: 1-9
This incident in the life of Christ is as baffling to us today as it was to the baffled and confused Apostles of yesteryear.

Point 1: As we set ourselves to find spiritual value in all that we do, we find the power of transformation taking shape within us. We find that the mundane, the physical can acquire spiritual value. There was a time, and still is for certain types, when it was thought that in order to achieve this transformation, the physical had to disappear for the spiritual to become present. This is not transformation! It is amputation! And it results in a person coming to God as a €˜half-person€™. The power of transformation we are considering is the power that enables a person to combine the natural and the supernatural in such a way that the natural serves the supernatural just as Christ combined the Divine and the human in His person. The long history of the Church presents us with many models for achieving this, and these include various types of religious orders involving a special vocation. But, for the majority of Christians, their act of transformation will be achieved in learning to balance the every day demands of Christian living found in vocations other than the religious or priestly vocations.

Point 2: The readings we have just listened to emphasise this need to balance the Divine and the human in each of us. Those upon whom we depend for our interpretation of such incidents assure us that the Transfiguration was not a symbolic description, but was actual.. Up to this point, there had been times of uncertainty as Christ came to a full understanding of His mission. Here, however, we are told emphatically -€™This is My son, my Chosen! Listen to Him€™! This was a decisive moment in the life of Christ. From this point onwards, the full awareness of His identity enabled Him to understand His mission -€™Tell no one of the vision until the Son of man has risen from the dead€™ - and events moved forward to Jerusalem with the inevitability of a Greek tragedy.

Conclusion: For us, too, transformation can be triggered by some extraordinary event in our lives; some decisive event in a person€™s life results in conversion and, consequently, transformation. For the most part, however, it is a more gradual process and generally comes about where we develop the habit of setting aside time for quiet, calm reflection on the meaning of Christian. In such moments, we become aware of the stirrings and the prompting which come to us as surely as encouragement was given to Christ to complete His mission as God/Man. The season of Lent offers us such an opportunity.

Scriptural reference: I will call to mind the deeds of the Lord; I will remember your deeds of old; I will meditate on all your works and muse on your mighty deeds" Psalm 77:11-12.