2nd Sunday in Lent, Year C

Sunday, March 17, 2019
Fr. Kyle
Homily transcription: 

One of the most frequent questions I get as a priest is, “Father, how am I supposed to pray?”  I usually think to myself, “what are you asking me for, I’m still trying to figure that out myself.  Jesus is always a good one to look to for a good example and in today’s gospel of the Transfiguration, he gives us a good example of prayer.  I think there are three things in particular in today’s gospel that we can adopt for our own life of prayer.

First, it says Jesus goes up the mountain to pray.  He stops his ministry.  He stops the business and the noisiness of his daily life and gets away to spend quality time with his Heavenly Father.  In our life of prayer, we too need to find our mountain; a place away from the business and noisiness of our lives where we can spend quality time with Christ; quality time with our Heavenly Father.  One of the great temptations in prayer is to try and multitask.  Sometimes we think we can pray while doing the dishes or driving.  And certainly this can be done, but if we really want to get quality time with God we need to find our mountain where there are no distractions.  One of my biggest temptations is to have my phone with me all the time.  And if I take my phone to prayer with me, you better believe I am going to be distracted thinking about text messages or emails or the ISU score in the Big 12 Championship game.  If we want quality time where we can truly listen to God, we need to find our mountain.

Second, when Jesus spends time with his Heavenly Father, we hear that his face is changed in appearance and his clothes become dazzling white.  Now this does not mean that if you are like me with a pile of dirty laundry at home, we can just pray over it and it is made dazzling white.  But when we spend time in the presence and love of God we are changed.  Our perspective and outlook on life are transfigured.  Our attitude and demeaner are changed when we pray.  We can see an analogous think happen in our natural life.  For instance, just think about what our attitudes were like about a month ago when it was -50 windchild, cloudy and snowing almost everyday.  That had an impact on our attitude.  Now that the sun is out longer, the weather is warmer and it seems like spring is probably just around the corner… hopefully, our attitudes are transfigured.  When we take time to soak up the light and warmth of the sun it has an impact on our attitude.  And the same is true in prayer.  When we take time to soak in the love and warmth of God in prayer, it has an impact on our lives.  It transfigures our attitudes.

Finally, Jesus and the apostles had to come down the mountain.  Now Peter, James and John did not want to come down the mountain.  Peter wanted to build three tents and stay up there.  He though it was great and comfortable and wanted to hang out for a few more weeks.  But Jesus knew it was necessary to come down the mountain and continue their mission.  Similarly, in prayer, it can be nice to spend time with God, but we have to come back down from prayer and continue our mission.  Certainly, it is good to soak up the goodness and love of God and to be transfigured by it, but then we are called to get out there and share that with others who need it.  Just like Christ, people will notice a difference in us when we spend quality time with our Heavenly Father.  We have a mission to come down the mountain, get out of our comfort zone and share the goodness and love of God that we received in prayer.

Prayer can be difficult.  But don’t come running to me to figure out how to do it.  Okay, you can and I will try to give some pointers.  But even more helpful is to look to the example of Christ.  Even better is to fallow his example and find our mountain apart from the busyness of life, to soak up the warmth and goodness of God’s love and to come down our mountain to share that goodness and love with others who greatly need it.