Fr. Rick’s Homily: Second Sunday of Lent


Gn 12:1-4a; Ps 33:4-5, 18-22; 2 Tm 1:8b-10; Mt 17:1-9

Thank you for your very generous donations on Ash Wednesday to the Church in Eastern and Central Europe.  Our little community contributed $960 and counting!!  Anndd-A, because Holy Mother Church promised to give you more opportunities to give alms during Lent, today we have the annual special collection for the Black and Indian Missions, some of which stays right here in the SW where a number of native tribes still live.  This collection will be taken up after Communion and I thank you in advance for being your usual generous selves.

Today’s first reading from Genesis (12:1-2) proclaims, ‘The LORD said to Abram: Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you. “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.”’

This also recalled to mind the well-known line from earlier in Genesis (2:24), “a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.”  Footnotes to this line on the U.S. Bishops’ website states, ‘One body: lit., “one flesh.” The covenant of marriage establishes kinship bonds of the first rank between the partners.’

If we are living in Kane County Utah, we have very likely left the ‘land of our kinsfolk’.  If we are baptized then we have given our lives to God and thus, theologically, we’re brought here by God.  We are indeed part of a great nation and we have been made great so that we will be a blessing.  That is an awesome calling and maybe one that was not at the very front of our minds when we made the decision to move to Kanab.  Last week in my homily and in the bulletin notes I asked you to reflect on how you decided to move here.  This is a beautiful, uncongested, incredibly quiet place, particularly suited for elders of the tribe.  Recall that Abraham and Sarah were called to this new land in their ‘old age’.  God was calling them to a whole new life at a time when they had been strengthened, enlightened and humbled by many decades of living.

That has to resonate with us – and perhaps to most Americans who don’t tend to settle in one place for life.  Why would God want us here?  In this place and in this particular time?

Certainly, part of the reason is the positive impact and stability we provide to the local community with our countless volunteer hours.  Many from the St. Christopher’s community are regularly adding time, talent, treasure, and considerable expertise to our many Kane County projects and services.  I’m sure our relationship to each other in this parish helps provide us some of the stability and focus to better serve others.

But what larger blessings are needed by our nation and our world right now?  How do are vocations to Matrimony, Holy Orders or the Sacred Single Life (all forms of marriage) play out in our ‘leaving home’ and being called to a new life? What old ways have we left behind and what has been the newness of our lives since then? Sacraments call us to new kinship bonds.  What different types of hope and vision might a sacramental people have to offer that is not so apparent in others?

In today’s gospel the apostles are changed forever as they are witnesses to the Transfiguration.  For a moment the veil between heaven and earth is lifted and they are blessed with a vision of their lives to come. Their ultimate destiny.  They can draw from this transcended experience during the challenging and sometimes tortuous difficulties of their lives as disciples?  They will need it!  They will need more than good self-esteem and regular affirmation and even prayers.  They will need this experience of transfiguration and transcendence that is forever a part of their very being.

If our children and grandchildren are baptized, what awareness do they have of God’s personal call in their lives as they change locations, employment, relationships and goals?  Do they consider themselves a part of a great nation – set apart – and blessed – in order to bless the world?  How so?

These questions might be particularly pertinent during our 3-year Eucharistic Revival as we reconsider the radical oneness and interdependence we are called to as a Eucharistic People.

How is our sacramental sense of community a blessing to our town and nation and world?  How does it help us to guide the lives of our children and all the generations to come?

Most of these questions are presented in today’s bulletin and homily reflection for your consideration during the week.

Let us now enter more deeply into this transcended time of oneness that feeds us for the spiritual journeys ahead.