Today’s homily is for the 2nd Sunday of Lent, February 28, 2021, and the readings can be found by clicking here. The video can be viewed by clicking here soon.
I was watching Big Hero 6 yesterday with my boys, and of course, there’s a bad guy who wears a mask, and you think you know who it is only to find out it’s someone else entirely! That’s fun. A lot of movies do this. They’ve got you wondering all the while who this person might be and then, usually toward the end, the person’s true identity is revealed. Sometimes, like on Big Hero 6, it’s a total surprise, but other times you find yourself saying, “Haha! I knew it! I knew it was him all along!” Today, Jesus removes the mask. His true identity and full Glory, is revealed–Jesus is the eternal Word of God, the Son of God, who existed before time began.
Jesus takes his chosen few up to the mountain top where they experience Moses and Elijah, Jesus’ glory, and God, the father. What an amazing and beautiful experience. Naturally, They don’t want that moment to end. I love that Peter wants to build a tent! He wants to stay there. He wants that feeling to last forever. Of course, it does not, and just like that, the revelation is over and it’s time to go back down the hill. But what a wonderful gift they were able to take with them. I think it was that gift, and others like it, that kept them on their journey with Jesus. It kept them strong in their faith. They just have to remember.
There have been times in my life when I have experienced Jesus in all his glory. Not many times, I can count them on one hand, but enough to keep me going. When life is difficult, when I need to reconnect with God, I remember those times when God spoke to me. I remember the joy of that moment, and it helps me get through the trial before me.
You know, photographs can do the same thing–does anyone still have photographs? This year has been a dumpster fire of a year. We haven’t gone anywhere or done anything–the only thing I’ve done this year is Zoom calls! But I did also finally make my shutterfly albums. I organize my camera pictures by the year so I went back and pulled hundreds and hundreds of photos for each of the past seven years or so, and made Shutterfly photo albums. They just arrived. What a joy.
That’s the nice thing about photos, they take you back to the moment. They help you remember. They bring renewed laughter, joy, and life. Peter, James, and John, didn’t have a camera, but I bet if they did, they would have carried that photo of Jesus in all his glory everywhere they went. They had it in their mind, and I’m convinced that it was what got them through their darkest days. They remembered and found joy.
As we journey through Lent, we need to remember. We need to take time with God, sit silently in prayer, and be renewed by our blessed Lord. Pull out the photos in your mind when you experienced Jesus without the mask. Maybe it was through another person, or in an event, maybe it was the voice you heard in your heart, but remember and grow close to God. We’ve been in a desert and we have lost many whom we love.
I would also invite you to go through your photo albums. Make Sunday the day where you sit with family and remember. I’m going to sit down with an album or two, to remember when my boys wanted only love, hugs, and kisses, and not all my money! Consider it a spiritual discipline–I’m admonishing you! Take the time to go through the memories. Photos help keep people and places alive in our heart, and that life brings us joy.
So, remember…build your tent for a moment….the storm has been a long one. Remember God, remember family, and friends, and find joy again.