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Homily of Bishop William Crean -2nd Sunday of Lent B – 25th February 2024

2nd Sunday of Lent B

St. Colman’s Cathedral, Cobh

25th February, 2024

“It is good for us to be here”

My friends,

There are some moments in life when we are truly present to our experience and realise that moment as blessed and never to be forgotten. Such a moment thereafter is always available to us through memory to be a source of inspiration and consolation when things may be otherwise.

The moment of Transfiguration is such a moment in the lives of the apostles Peter, James and John. It was Peter who put the memorable words on the experience “Lord, it is good for us to be here”. We ourselves have been able to borrow these words of Peter to express our sense of blessing at special moments in our lives.

Each of the Readings to-day are special expressions of our finding a glimpse into the ways of God. What they share is deep faith/trust in God – which in the case of Abraham we can find shocking because it extends to the potential sacrifice of his son. It was this depth of trust/faith that brings the promise of the blessing of countless descendants.

This Old Testament narrative of the willingness to sacrifice the son – is spoken of as prefiguring the death of the Son, Jesus as a testament to the Father’s love for humanity. This introduces us to the sacrifice of Christ Jesus in his life and death for the freedom of all humanity from the chains of sin and death. The final act of this drama of our salvation is completed with the Father rising the Son Jesus to new life in the Resurrection. This new life of the Risen Christ is for all to share through the loving mercy of God.

All taken together as a single mystery of God’s action we name as the Paschal Mystery.

“I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living “ is a pledge of faith in the presence of God to us through all of our days in experiences both good and difficult

“I trusted even when I said

I am sorely afflicted” ….

“A thanksgiving sacrifice I make

I will call on the Lord’s name”

Returning to the moment and experience of the Transfiguration – it was for Peter, James and John a profound moment of consolation and affirmation of their faith and trust in the ways of God.

The figures of Abrahan, Elijah and Jesus enabled them to make the connections across the centuries between the God of Abraham and their forebears and the divine presence in their midst who is the beloved Son of the Father.

It is therefore no accident that Jesus would invite the same Peter, James and John to share the Garden of Gethsemane with him. In his hours of anguish, he wanted those who might understand to share it with him. That the experience of Transfiguration would enable them to

journey with him to the point of disfiguration of Calvary and in time bear witness to him in his Resurrection.

Our Lenten journey invites us to enter into reflection and prayer on the ways of God in the Paschal Mystery. This is uniquely reflected in every significant Church with the Stations of the Cross. That’s why “doing the Stations” is recommended to us all as a Lenten practice.

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