Sunday, March 16, 2014

2nd Sunday in Lent - Matthew 17: 1-9 - "All we need . . ."

We are all radicals!  Cultural subversives!  Our lives, as disciples of Jesus - calls us to reject the ways of the world to live new lives.  We are called to be courageous; trusting completely in the promises of God.  We are strengthened by our beliefs to endure suffering and pain for the sake of God’s truth and we are comforted and assured that God is with us always – through his Son, Jesus Christ.

Our call to Christianity is a call to a radical new way of living, far removed from our secular life – the life we’ve come to know – a life filled with the familiar, - the comfort of friends and family – a life acceptance of the ever-changing norms of our culture and society.  Christ calls us away from this life - to a new life – a holy life – a life filled with hope and promise - a life of truth and the eternal peace of God’s kingdom.

Our life in Christ is often called a journey.  It is a journey because we never reach our destination in this life, but are always moving, seeking and discovering God’s call - as he reveals himself to us.  We are always traveling toward our Father’s promise of a new and eternal life.

It is a journey filled with grace and temptations, - a journey along rough and easy roads.  Sometimes our path is straight and clear; running all the way to the horizon and at others it twists and turns, with diversions and dead-ends - that lead to sorrow and regret. 

But as hopeful travelers, disciples in Christ Jesus, we journey on with strength in belief; trusting in the promise of God through our Lord, Jesus.  Courageously seeking Him; following His path toward salvation and life eternal.

In speaking with those whose journey brings them to join our Christian community, the One, Holy, Apostolic, Catholic Church, through the Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA) - I tell seekers that we don’t “make” Catholics or teach people to become Christians – the Holy Spirit is already working in their hearts, bringing them closer to God – being a Catholic is not something we do, but who we are!  We all journey together on our Road to Emmaus - our journey of discipleship in Christ.  Helping one another recognize the signs and wonders of God’s work in our lives.

God calls each of us to Him.  He sends us signs and hints, reminding us of his great love for us and – shows us The Way of living in His love.  Even through pain and suffering we find grace and understanding in His love.

In our journey of discipleship in Jesus; as believers in God’s promise of salvation - we are like Abram, as we see in our reading from Genesis. 
Abram believed in God’s promises so completely – He willingly gave up all that he knew – to journey out into the unknown world - seeking fulfillment of God’s promises. 
Abram’s trust in God was complete; allowing him to be led out of his comfort zone – away from all that was familiar and safe - forsaking family and friends – to journey into a new life.

In our journey of discipleship - we are also like Paul.  We know what happened to Paul – his dramatic call to a life in Christ.  He suffered great hardships in his new life - for the sake of the Gospel.  Paul believed all he suffered was in God’s plan of salvation.  He saw his journey as a furtherance of God’s promise through Jesus Christ and stood each hardship as a grace-filled gift from God.

Paul found strength and courage in God through Jesus – bringing His Word to others.  In his suffering he found God’s consolation.

Peter, James and John journeyed with Jesus high into a mountain where – in a bright dazzling light - they witness Jesus Transfigured - conversing with Moses and Elijah – God’s fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets in Jesus. 

Then, - in echo of Jesus’ baptism, - a loud voice fills the air saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”  Peter, James and John journey into fear; falling prostrate, trembling before God‘s mighty sign.

“Rise and do not be afraid”, Jesus tells them – For in Him is the fulfillment of God’s promise - a sign to them that - all they would ever need is Jesus.

On our Road to Emmaus we too should be:
Trusting – like Abraham - completely in God’s promise.
Strengthened – like Paul – enduring suffering for God’s truth
And fearless – in Jesus’ Word – assured that He is all we will ever need and He is with us always until the end of time. ~Amen


Deacon Don Ron

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