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Lent 2A Genesis 12:1-4A /  2 Timothy 1:8B-10  / Matthew 17:1-9

 

Here’s a transfiguration story—

it’s an oldie,

but it’s a goodie.

 

Once long ago,

an Indian warrior found an

eagle’s egg on a mountaintop,

 

And he went home and put

this eagle’s egg next to

the eggs that a hen was

going to be sitting on.

 

When the time came,

the chicks hatched,

and so did the little eagle,

who had been kept warm

in the same brood.

 

The tiny eagle grew along side

the little hens.

 

After some time it learned how

to cackle like chickens—

to scratch the ground like chickens—

to look for worms like chickens—

 

and it limited itself to going up

only into the lower branches of

the bushes just like all the other chickens.

 

And it kept living with the idea

that it was a chicken—

that’s all it knew.

 

One day when it was old,

the eagle who thought he was

a chicken was looking up the sky and

saw something magnificent.

 

Up there—

in the bright blue sky was a majestic bird.

It was soaring in the open sky—

And it all looked so effortless.

 

The old eagle who thought he

was a chicken was awestruck at such a sight.

 

It turned to the nearest chicken and said,

“What kind of bird is that?”

 

The chicken looked up and saw

the soaring eagle—

and answered,

 

“Oh that’s the golden eagle,

the queen of the skies,

but don’t pay any attention to it.

You and I are here down below.”

 

The eagle never looked up again.

 

That’s how everyone treated the eagle,

Like a chicken—

it was how it grew up—

it’s how it lived—

and it’s how it died. . . .

 

thinking it was a chicken.

 

You can see why this story fits so

perfectly with the Transfiguration of Jesus.

 

You can see why this story fits so well in Lent.

 

Now, did the Transfiguration reveal the divinity—

reveal the glory of Christ.

 

Absolutely.

 

Did the transfiguration on Mount Tabor

prepare Peter, James and John and

those they told the story to—

for what happened to Jesus

on Mount Calvary.

 

 

So they would not totally lose heart

After the crucifixion . . .

 

and prepare them to be able to

put the whole story

together after the resurrection.

 

Absolutely!!!

 

But there is another very—

very important reason for the Transfiguration.

 

In the Transfiguration,

Jesus reveals not just his own hidden glory—

but Jesus reveals our

present and future glory as well.

 

The Transfiguration reveals to

the whole Body of Christ the

kind of transformation

it can receive as Jesus’ gift to us.

 

You see, in the Transfiguration,

the whole mystery of our salvation is revealed.

 

By connecting ourselves to Christ—

and cooperating with grace. . . .

 

That’s the only thing it takes on our part—

 

Connecting to Christ and

And cooperating with grace

 

God gives us the gift of being transformed—

Refashioned—

Refigured—

 

So that glory of Christ—

Who is the very image of God will shine forth in us.

 

The second reading from Timothy says it all:

Beloved:

We are so loved aren’t we?!?!?!?!

Bear your share of hardship for the gospel

with the strength that comes from God.

 

Unite ourselves with Christ and

cooperate with grace—

it does take some effort on our part.

 

He saved us and called us to a holy life,

not according to our works

but according to his own design.

 

It’s all gift isn’t it—

and it’s God’s plan for us which is so much

greater than any design we

could have for ourselves.

 

and the grace bestowed on us

in Christ Jesus before time began,

but now made manifest

through the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus,

who destroyed death and brought life and immortality

to light through the gospel.

 

That says it all.

 

We are made to soar with God—

To be transfigured—

Transformed—

Refashioned—

Into other Jesuses.

 

We’re made for more!!!

 

Here’s another story—

Not about hens and eagles,

but about real human beings.

 

This is a story about Fr. Flanagan—

the founder of Boy’s Town.

Initially, Fr. Flannigan set up his home to

help abandoned children—

but then later he started accepting delinquents.

 

When the police no longer knew what to do—

They went to Fr. Flanagan.

 

As the story goes,

he never failed with his boys.

 

Here is one story along those lines.

 

An 8-year-old boy had killed his father and mother.

 

Now can you imagine what must have

happened to this child that he would

become so violent at such a young age?

 

He was also arrested a number of times for robbery.

 

The police didn’t know what to do with him.

 

He was a child so they couldn’t arrest him—

or put him on trial—

or send him to reform school

because he had to

be at least 12 years old for that.

 

So they called Fr. Flanagan and said,

“Will you accept this kid?”

 

The priest answered, “Of course,

send him over!”

 

Many years later,

the boy wrote about his experience with Fr. Flannigan.

 

He wrote,

“I remember the day when I was on

my way to Boy’s Town in a train—

and with a police officer,

and I was thinking,

“They’re sending me to a priest.

If this man says he loves me,

I’m going to kill him. ”

 

And the boy was a killer!

 

He went to Boy’s Town and

he knocked on the door.

 

Fr. Flanagan answered and said, “Come in!”

 

The boy went in and

Fr. Flanagan asked, “What’s your name?”

 

And the boy said, “Dave, sir.”

 

And Fr. Flannigan said,

“Dave! Welcome to Boy’s Town.

We’ve been expecting you!

Now that your here you must want to

take a walk to become familiar with everything.

 

You know that everyone works for a living here?

 

Someone will show you everything.

 

Perhaps you can choose an occupation,

but for now take it easy,

take a look around at the place,

you can go now.

I’ll see you later.”

 

And the boy said that these first few moments

with Fr. Flannigan changed his life.

 

“For the first time in my life,

I looked in the eyes of a man who,

without using words said

“you’re good—

you’re not bad—

you’re good!”

 

“Come on in!!”

“Your welcome here”—

“I’ve been expecting you.”

“Take a look around—

Get a lay of the land.”

 

“Everything here—

Including the rules—

Is for your good—

It’s all designed to help bring out

the inherent goodness in you.”

 

And the boy did become good—

The boy was transfigured—

He was transformed—

He was refigured in to more—

More of who God created him to be.

 

Now you can see how these two stories are

not only stories of the Transfiguration—

but they’re stories about Lent.

 

Lent is God saying:

Come on in!!!

You’re welcome here!!!

I’ve been expecting you!!!

Get a lay of the land.

 

Everything here—

Including the rules—

The prayer, the fasting, the almsgiving—

The immersing yourself in scripture—

The Eucharist—

Which is another great transfiguration of Jesus—

Every act of love that’s expected in this place—

Is all designed to bring out the inherit goodness in you—

And more—

And more.

 

It’s all to unite ourselves with Christ—

And be in a place of grace

Where we can be transfigured—

Transformed—

Refigured–

Into who we were made to be!!!

 

That’s the story of the Transfiguration—

That’s the story of Lent.

 

Holy Spirit 03/07-08/2020