Homily: March 16, 2014

 A HOMILY FOR THE SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT – CYCLE “A” – 3/16/14  – SMG

+  Pax et Bonum!

When I was growing up, one of my family’s favorite places to go visit was always Chicago.  I still love Chicago.  It’s fun city, there’s always lots of fun things to do.  And there’s so much to see!  And the thing about Chicago, is that no matter when you go there, there always seems to be that cool lake breeze.  It truly is the WindyCity!  It’s kinda nice in the summer time.  And it can be truly bone-chilling in the winter time, when you factor in some snow and ice.  When I was a kid, I asked my Dad about this.  And my Dad took my brothers and I up in the JohnHancockBuilding which looks out over Lake Michigan, to help us to understand.  I think that the first time I saw Lake Michigan from up there, it was January and February, and it sure made sense that Chicago was going to cold and windy, when it was sitting right there on the southern edge of that Great Lake!  But I never would have had that perspective if we didn’t go up in that tall building, so close to the lake shore.

Sometimes, to get a new or different perspective on things, you’ve just got to go up a little higher.  Sometimes to see things in a clearer way, you have to get up above and beyond.  Certainly, that is Peter, James, and John’s experience today in our Gospel, as Jesus takes them to the top of what we believe to be Mt.Tabor in Israel, for this life-changing experience of a new vision of Christ.  What Peter, James, and John see, is a preview of the glory that Jesus is going to receive when He comes into His glory.  Jesus’ clothes, His face, and everything about Him is literally glowing and radiating light.  The three Apostles had never seen anything like it before.  It was a new vision.  It was one of those glimpses of Heaven that we all get once in awhile, and that sometimes we have to go up the mountain, to be able to see.

God is all around us.  He is real.  He is powerful.  And what He has in store for us is beyond our wildest imaginations.  Heaven is for real.  And if you conjure up in your head your greatest, best, most beautiful, most awe-inspiring vision of Heaven, be assured that what God has in store for us is even better!

It’s like all these people who have died and come back to life, through modern resuscitation abilities.  Do you know that there are something like 80,000 people living in this country today who claim that they have had a near death experience, and experienced the after-life.  Many of them believe that they saw Heaven.  Some of them say that they were given a preview of Hell.  But most of them, the vast majority of them, didn’t want to come back to this life.  They were given a vision.  They were given a preview.  And if they had their choice, they would have stayed on the other side.

Sometimes we just all need a higher vision.  We can get so bogged down in this world, seeing only worldly things and worldly values, and that’s why once in awhile we all need to go up the mountain, we need to climb that tall hill,  we need to climb a tree or a ladder, we need to go the top floor of a very tall building, we need to do something to raise our vision to God.  And to let Him give us a preview of what’s coming for all of us, so that He can transfigure us!

Lent is our time to be transfigured, to be changed, to be lifted up by God Most High!  This is our time for all of us to become a more dynamic Catholic.  The great and awesome power of the Catholic Faith isn’t just for a few.  It is for all of us!  Lent is the perfect time for us to realize that we are all invited and raised up by this God.  Prayer, Study, Generosity, and Evangelization are what we are all called to.  They are higher values.  They do raise us up.  Most importantly, they raise our minds, our hearts, and our lives up to God!  If we let those four signs of a dynamic Catholic, Prayer, Study, Generosity, and Evangelization, infiltrate every part of our beings, we will see more than we ever could from the highest mountain top.  We will see God.  And it’s a really cool vision.

My brothers and sisters, let us let our God raise us up this Lent.  We can be so much more than we let ourselves.  All we have to do is cooperate with God!  And let Him change us.

+  May God bless us this second full week of Lent,  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…               AMEN !!!

+ St. Maria Goretti…                    Pray for us !!!