The Vocation of the Christian

03-12-2017HomiliesRev. Barnabas Duniya

The life of a Christian can be compared to a journey undertaken in the company of the Master. Abraham was the first to set off on this journey in answer to a call from God. Therefore, we are catechumen invited to leave our 'Country' only to show the light of our vocation.

The blessedness which is the heritage of Israel (Ps.33:12) is Abram's gift to the world: "… and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." (Gen.12:3).

St. Paul has no other purpose than to convince us that God's purpose is God's grace, God's steadfast love. Love is its own justification, its own purpose. God's love is God's purpose in all creation and in all redemption (2Tm.1:9-10; Lk16:22).

For Paul, Salvation which is accomplished through Christ's Sacrifice on the Cross, is the fruit of his love for us. This work of salvation continues through the Teaching and Sacramental ministry of the Church (Mt.16:26; 2Cor.5:8). St. Paul calls us not to be ashamed or discouraged of testifying to our Lord when we meet with difficulties.

The transfiguration offered the disciples the privilege of a foretaste of the glory of Christ. Perceiving the correlation between the passion and the resurrection, it would enable them to overcome their shock in the wake of the passion prediction and accept the reality of the cross as a path to the glory of the resurrection.

In our own context, the transfiguration is a powerful reminder and unifies our identity as disciples of Jesus tied to the destiny of the Cross. While we cannot escape suffering in our lives, there is nonetheless nothing like mere suffering, as suffering has a redemptive power. If we share in Jesus' suffering, we will also share in his glory.

The transfiguration also tells us something about Jesus' personality: he is the Lord (v.4), the Son of God, in whom God is well pleased (v.5; Is.42:1); we must listen to him, for he reveals God to humanity.

As we unite ourselves with the passion of the Lord, we must keep alive the memory of God's past goodness to us. It will serve as motivation for us to persevere as we look beyond present difficulties with the assurance that good times are bound to follow the bad, as surely as the dawn follows the night.

Moses and Elijah both encountered God on a holy mountain; 'Sinai and Horeb' respectively and represent the Law and the Prophets. Christ at the center of the three, indicates Christ is the center of all Revelation (Acts13:33).

While Peter was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him (Mt.17:5).

The Transfiguration reflects Christ's Divinity in an extraordinary way. Just as at his Baptism, the voice of his Father was heard calling Christ his "Beloved Son" (Jn.15:39).