Fr Thomas’ Homily for the 2nd Sunday of Lent

Listen to the Word, Be Transformed

There is one parish in particular, Palar, where I had an amazing experience of transformation. It happened while I had undertaken a special meditation prayer for the parish. The social profile of the area was an epitome of hopelessness. They were high of illegal cannabis growing and distilling local rum; but dry on peace and joy in life. They needed to listen to the Word of God. My ministry was to make sure God’s Word is heard there. I did not have any Catholic Schools or social media to help me in this respect. But there was an effective, but less used  tool – prayer. Like Jesus and his three disciples (Peter, James, and John) who went up the mountain and prayed in the solitude, I too entered a solitude by siting down in meditation prayer. After a few weeks of the daily meditation, there was a prompting from the Spirit of God. It was like God’s spirit speaking to Peter, James and John on the mountain top. The disciples on the mountain top with Jesus heard a voice from the cloud saying “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” (Luke 9:35). They were to listen to Jesus as the Word of God. In my case, there was no cloud. But from out of the blue a parishioner came requesting to conduct a Bible Prayer at her house. She was eager to listen to the Word of God. Straight away I knew that God is asking me to proclaim the Word of God for her and her people. I joyfully did an hour long Bible prayer for a group of people at her house. This was the start of a series of similar Bible prayer gatherings. In a few months there was a big transformation in the parish. Joy and hope started to sprout in Palar. They started to close the illicit rum distilleries. On request I started a program to assist the alcoholics which made seventeen reformed enthusiasts for the parish ministry. Cannabis started to give way to legitimate cash crops like pepper and tea. The whole parish was reformed not only spiritually, but also civilly. The progress in joy, hope, and new life was emerging. As sings of it new roads were made to the village and a new Church and facilities were also built. What an amazing transformation was brought about by listening to the Word of God!

This Lent is a time to take yourself to the isolation of a “mountain top” with Jesus. Take yourself away from the noisy world and its distractions. Be with Jesus and you will hear God’s Word spoken to you. Then you will be able to share your God experience with others. As a consequence you will see your life and that of those who listen to you transform. A world chocked by the worries and concerns of the world needs you to show them the glory of Jesus Christ. Are you prepared to step out of the hurry bury of the world and step up to be alone with Jesus? Listen to the voice, “This is my Son, My chosen, listen to him” (Luke 9:35).