Homily Feast of Transfiguration August 6 Year A: Michael Ufok Udoekpo
· Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14
· 2 Peter 1:16-19
· Matt 17:1-9(Yr. A) Mark 9:2-10(Yr.) and Luke 9:28b-36 (Yr.)
Placing our Faith In the transforming Power of Christ
When the Feast of Transfiguration falls on a Sunday (like today, the 18th Sunday of the Year in Ordinary time, this year), Transfiguration replaces the Sunday Liturgy. It is an important celebration that points us to the transforming effect of Christ, empowered by God his father, who in the first place sent Jesus his Son as the savior and redeemer of the world, to touch us with his healing hands so that we may be transformed and be not afraid!
This message of be not afraid runs through today’s readings. Looking and listening again to the scripture just read, the mystery of transfiguration is nothing else, but a feast of hope, courage, faith, and trust in the Lord, when we face trials, when we are confronted with the unknown, when we are uncertain of the future, when we are afraid, disillusioned and frustrated, as people would always do in history. The passages we have just read from Daniel and 2 Peter were written at various times in biblical history, to strengthen the faith of their believing audiences who were persecuted, who were afraid of their present and future.
Have you ever been persecuted, or read about persecution in literature or watch them on TV? Have you ever experience fear or feel uncertain of today, or tomorrow? If so, this feast is for you. Today’s readings are for you. The gospel message is for you and your family!
Transfiguration is an important, or call it a significant event. Perhaps the more reason the feast is recorded in the three– synoptic gospels: Mathew (17:1-9), Mark (9:2-10) and Luke (9:28-36), almost in the same context. In the midpoint of their stories, and soon after Peter’s confession of faith that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ.
We are told in today’s account, after being led up the mountain( abode of God) by Jesus, Peter James and John witnessed Jesus being changed and transfigured before them. Jesus’ face shining like the sun and his clothes became white as light. And behold Moses and Elijah, two great prophets of Israel came charting with him. It was so peaceful that Peter proposes that three tents be constructed for them: One for Moses, and the other two for Elijah and Christ. Remember when man proposes God disposes. Barak in the Book of numbers wanted Balaam to curse Israel, but God directed Balaam to bless Israel. Peter in this gospel is directed by an angelic voice from heaven to listen to God’s beloved Son, whose mysteries we celebrate every day. With the touch of Jesus, the new prophet, the disciples were told to rise up and never to be afraid again!
Let me ask again, have you ever been afraid? What are your fears! What are you afraid of: Power, money, health? Transfiguration allows Jesus to consult God his father in order to reassures his disciples, of the healing power and transforming touch of Christ. As Jesus touches his disciples in today’s gospel, and dispels their fears uncertainties, he touches us through our various sacraments- Baptism, Holy Eucharist, Confirmation, Penance, Matrimony, Holy Order and anointing of the sick. He touches us, he anoints us through the scriptures and through the charity we do, and through the good relationship we build and nature with our neighbors.
When God anoints us, we are transformed and changed from sorrow to joy, from despair to hope, from a sense hatred to that of love, from vindictiveness to mercy and forgiveness, from exclusion to that of inclusion, especially of the poor, women and children, from hostilities to the planet and environment to the care and love of the planet, our common home…messages of Pope Francis as well. When Jesus touches us, we are transform. We listen more to him, as Peter, James and John. When he touches us we Dialogue with one another, with the sensus fidelium. We regain our peace!
Let us pray at this Mass for the spirit of love, faith, hope, peace, trust and openness to the transforming effects, and healing touch of Jesus.