Homily Second Sunday of Lent Year C: Fr. Michael U. UdoekpoReadings: Gen 15:5-12, 17-18; Ps 27: 1, 7-9, 13-14; Phil 3:17–4:1 and Luke 9:28b-36.
Our Citizenship is In Heaven
“Our Citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will change our lowly body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself,”
These words of Saint Paul to the Church in Philippi capture well the essence of what we celebrate today: that all of us, throughout history, are on a journey like the Israelites (Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers 1–10). We are immigrants, migrating to our heavenly Father. As believers, and children of the covenant, where we are now is not our final home. Heaven is our final home. That “promised land” promised by the God of “our fathers,” through our ancestors! It takes courage, patience, courage, endurance, perseverance and attentiveness to the voice of God to get there! It is costly. I mean the "cost of discipleship" to get there!
In today’s first reading, God unconditionally establishes a covenant, a loving relationship with Abraham, our ancestor. Abraham’s descendants; Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, David, the prophets, Christ, Paul, renewed in us, in the Church, in our communities, and families today, will be as plentiful as the stars in the sky and as the sand of the sea shore. Abraham and his descendant shall be given that land for a possession (Gen 15). Abraham believes and puts his faith in God. He is accredited as a just man, as a righteousness man. Abraham, by believing, and putting his faith in God, teaches us how to be believing people, a compassionate, church, a believing, family and community. Abraham’s response to God reminds us that our work and Lenten disciplines here on earth will never be in vain. Those spiritual and corporal works of mercy will never be in vain. Abraham teaches us to be docile, faithful, righteous, open to change, renewal, confession, acceptance of the will of God, and the teachings of the Church; conversion and transformation from our “UR of Chaldeans” to the “Promised Land.”
On Mount Tabor, in the transfiguration episode of today’s Gospel Jesus' face changes in appearance, during prayer. His cloth becomes dazzling white to the amazement of Peter, James and John, his disciples who were with him. Moses and Elijah appeared and spoke with Jesus about the glory of the cross in the language of the exodus, known to both of them. Peter wishes to remain on this peaceful, glorious, beautiful earthly mountain of Tabor. But, truly their citizenship were beyond the earthly mount Tabor, Christ speaks to them about his journeys to Jerusalem! Heavenly citizenship can only be accomplished through the Cross and good works we do!
Today we encounter our daily crosses in different forms; the cost of discipleship in different forms. In acts of charity, forgiveness, suffering, pains and penance; the insult be bear for the sake of Christ. There are some that have experienced, poverty, terrorism, illnesses, inhumane-deportations, wars and various forms of institutional or organized, socio-political unjust structure– as they journey through this life. Some leave in fear! Some in anger! Some in excess materialism and uneasiness to forgive and to fell forgiven by God of their past sins. Whatever, our various challenges in life must have been as Christians- Lent, especially in this Year of Mercy, re-invites us to patience, trust and willingness to listen to the voice of Christ, who daily speaks and invites us to his eternal citizenship!