Homily for March 10, 2021 – The 3rd Week of Lent
(Deuteronomy 4: 1, 5 – 9; Ps:147; Matthew 5: 17 – 19)
It was at the Transfiguration – a voice came from the cloud: “This is My
Beloved Son. Listen to Him.” In that sacred proclamation, God the Father
clearly reveals His will for us, the holy will we desire to accept, the divine will
we desire to live in praying “The Our Father.”
“Listen to Him” – a simple command that has far reaching and penetrating
effects that can be and are life changing, transforming our hearts and our
minds. Such listening is never enacted upon by our choosing alone – we are
graced in order to be graced more. The Father’s command is always preceded
by the gift of grace, always caught up in the work of the Holy Spirit.
When we reflect on this sacred listening, it becomes clear that it is a very
personal, very unique act – no one can listen for me. It is an act of personal
surrender, of trust, of embracing God’s word, His very life. He graces us with
something of His own mystery without asking beforehand “What will you do
with this?” He surrenders to us humans – to you, to me. He simply gives! In
this sacred listening there is a mutual surrender: human and Divine.
In both readings for this Mass – Deuteronomy and St. Matthew – God reveals
the seriousness of listening: “…take care, do not forget, let it not slip from
your memory” and Jesus proclaims: “I come not to abolish but to
fulfill…none of the law”… of the word will pass away and true greatness is
found in the obedient – the true listener.
Even though we do not see with our own eyes this divine surrender, we do
see it mirrored in the Holy Eucharist each day – the Lord hands Himself over
to us, an awesome act of sacred trust, of infinite mercy.
As our God calls us, in fact, commands us to listen, He again and again
reveals HE IS FOR US – for our good, for our eternal salvation and we cannot
hear this enough. Our response again and again – we cannot say enough:
“SPEAK LORD, YOUR SERVANT IS LISTENING!”