Homily for the last Sunday after the Epiphany (Year C) – Removing the veil of ignorance

Updated: Jan 11

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Good morning bus riders!


I trust everyone here received the email with the link to the lectionary page; and, I hope everyone is up to date with the four readings set aside for today.


Today is the last Sunday after the Epiphany. Every year there is a last Sunday after the Epiphany, but some years there are more Sundays in between the Epiphany and the last Sunday after the Epiphany. Other years there are less.


It is worthwhile to see the whole of one year in the lectionary cycle as a set of stages in one’s spiritual development. Advent is when we are asked, “What do you want to be when you spiritually grow up?” The answer, for Christians, is “Saved.”


Christmas is when one’s prayer is answered and one’s soul becomes Anointed as a Christ [baptism by the Spirit], complete with Jesus resurrected in one’s soul.


This needs to be seen as an educational experience, where one’s soul becomes a disciple of Jesus – following his lead and doing whatever he says to do.


As an educational experience, it is like sending in your scholastic transcript to the college or university you want to attend and then waiting to receive the letter in the mail that lets you know you have been accepted.


The Epiphany is then the reality of going to that accepting school, registering, entering orientation, and preparing to begin a new educational life.


Raise your hands if you went through this process for admission into a school.


<Look for raised hands.>


Good. Then you will understand that entering a college or university is a big step when first taken, but years later, looking back, you realize just how little you knew then.


It is an Epiphany to begin an educational life. Still, graduating from a college or a university brings about the Epiphany that an education did nothing more than simulate the real world. Getting a job and going to work is a whole new Epiphany.


When the education of a soul is becoming a disciple of Jesus, the Epiphany is realizing there is so much to learn. All the Bible stories we learned as children are seen in a new light.


Just as some young adults choose to enter various kinds of schools after high school, some technical degrees can come quicker. That is like a year when there are only four Sundays after the Epiphany. Some degrees demand advanced degrees, with more years of study involved. That is like a year when there are seven, eight, or nine Sundays after the Epiphany.


In terms of being a disciple of Jesus, some times Jesus puts us right to work; but, then some times, he holds us back. All of this is like the last Sunday after the Epiphany.


This period after the Epiphany reflects when we are interns for Jesus, learning the basics and practicing being Jesus, before we graduate.


To graduate, we must take our final exams. That is reflected in Lent … the wilderness experience.


Graduation then places us into the job market, where we must die of self-ego and repeat the begging process that is like applying for entrance into school, only then we apply to work in the real world. That is the Easter season.


When we find work, that is the after Pentecost season, which becomes one’s new way of life.


But … that is just one year in real time. A cycle through the lectionary is three years. Still, it might be a decade before one cycles through years that find the lessons only read in the longest after the Epiphany years.


It is like being prepared for one’s final exams and hearing a professor say the educational experience never ends. There is always more to learn in real life than any institution can teach. You hear those words as a student who is tired of being taught and ready to apply knowledge, so you soon forget those words.


Then, many years later – wham – you have a new Epiphany and you recall being told that would happen.


My wife entered the seminary and I went with her as a spouse. We met another couple, where the wife was the seminarian and her husband was living on campus with her.


My wife had left a high-ranking position in a company she co-founded. This couple had both been lawyers, who both left that work behind to enter seminary.


The husband of the seminarian decided to enter seminary also and enrolled a semester later.

All three graduated at the same time, after three years in school.


My wife entered ministry; and, that couple entered ministry as a pair at the same church.


Not long after everyone was in place, that husband was arrested for child abuse, and sentenced as a sexual molester of children. His wife was devastated. They divorced, and she was unable to continue working as a priest. She changed her name back to her maiden name; and, the last I heard, she and her children with the man convicted no longer had anything to do with him.


Then, after my wife changed churches and began a new ministry, she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She was forced to retire from ministry. She found her true ministry was to her family, including me.


My wife died after fighting for two years; so, of the four people who entered seminary at the same time and who left into ministry at the same time, only I – who was not a seminarian, but a spouse of one – am left in ministry.


I tell you this story because it falls in line with the lesson of the veil that are read today. Life is like wearing a veil, so we do not know what the future brings.


The last Sunday after the Epiphany is when everything seems to be working out just the way we planned it … but then wham – there is a new Epiphany.


When you wear a veil there never is an end to the educational process that Jesus leads our souls to experience.


So, with that, let’s begin the lessons for today.


When we reached the last Sunday after Pentecost, that was called Christ the King Sunday. Today similarly has such a name, which is Transfiguration Sunday. The readings for today all refer to Moses and the veil he had to wear to keep from frightening the elders of the Israelites.


The Gospel reading from Luke tells the story of Jesus that is known as “The Transfiguration.”


Has everyone read the lessons for today and recognize them as events they have read of before?


<Look for nodding heads.>


Does everyone know the story of the Israelites becoming afraid because Moses was spending so much time on the mountain that they went to Aaron and cried out in fear; so, Aaron led them in making a golden calf to worship. When Moses learned of this waywardness, he broke the tablets written by Yahweh and ordered three thousand Israelites killed? Do you remember that?


<Look for nodding heads.>


Here is a new Epiphany for you … Exodus 34 is a prophecy, not a reality of the Israelites under Moses and Aaron.


The truth is told in Exodus 24, which I encourage you all to read carefully.


Moses was led by Yahweh to see a time in the future when the Israelites would become wayward and worship the idols of other gods, those under the heading as “baals.”


Moses did not destroy the tablets written by Yahweh. The wayward peoples of the Northern and Southern kingdoms would break the Covenant.


Moses did not come down with a New Covenant, Jesus would be sent to fulfil that prophecy.


The symbolism of Moses’ face shining after he spoke with Yahweh made the wayward Israelites and their high priest that was like Aaron be fearful. They demanded Moses wear a veil so they would not have to face Yahweh.


When we read Paul’s verses from his second letter to the true Christians of Corinth, he said the veil worn by Moses is seen in the inability of the Jews to understand Scripture.


Because Moses wore a veil after he talked with Yahweh, his veil was transferred into the text that was first memorized (divinely); and, then later written down on scrolls (divinely recalled), in a way that means little is clearly stated … as to what anything means.


Exodus 34 wears the veil of Moses by appearing to be another of the things that happened over the time spent in the wilderness following Moses.


Paul pointed that out. Paul had the veil of misunderstanding removed by his being reborn as Jesus – a Christ – so Paul said demanding Moses wear a veil was based on the waywardness of the people.


Can you see that?


<Look for shocked faces and shaking heads.>


David must be seen as being like Moses and Paul, in the sense that Yahweh poured out His Spirit upon David’s soul. Just like Moses, David wore no veil when he spoke with Yahweh. David’s psalms were the light of truth shining upon David’s soul, causing David to write songs to lead the people.


Still, the words David was led to write wear the veil that hides the truth of Yahweh underneath.


In the first verse of Psalm 99 we read, “The Lord is King; let the people tremble; he is enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth shake.” The veil placed on what David wrote is an English translation of the Hebrew … making it automatically a paraphrase. On top of that, the veil of “the Lord” masks the truth of “Yahweh” having been written.


When David wrote, “let the people tremble” and “let the earth shake,” this is stating the fears that fill the hearts and souls of those who either accept or deny “Yahweh is king.”


When David wrote Yahweh "is enthroned upon the cherubim," that points to the Yahweh elohim, or the angels in the flesh. That becomes veiled wording that says Yahweh is the king of those who marry His Spirit and become His angels.


Only when Yahweh is king over one’s soul can one tremble with delight and have one’s flesh shake from desire. However, when Yahweh does not have one’s subjection to His rule, then one feels the terror of a dangerous world and one’s flesh shakes from fear.


As we see in the Exodus prophecy, putting a veil between the face of Yahweh’s servant and one’s own face means one can set fears of Yahweh aside. Why worry about tomorrow, when one can live for today?


That is wearing the veil of ignorance.


Now David was allowed to see the way to go because he had no veil. That freedom allowed him to see what Yahweh would show him. Still, David was veiled from his future, so he could not see how he would reach a point in his life when Yahweh would let him sin …. Just like He let Adam and Eve sin … because that was a necessary development.


Moses and David became crutches the people limped along with. Without those crutches, the people kept falling down. When they reached the depths of despair they would cry out for salvation. Yahweh would send a judge … another crutch. The Israelites would get back up and limp along some more.


The veil was designed to force each individual soul to marry Yahweh and stand upright as His Son … like Moses, Aaron, Joshua, and David.


David sang praise to being a servant to Yahweh, through marriage that took on his “name,” through successfully wrestling with one’s demons, like what became “Jacob’s righteousness.” David named Jacob, Moses, Aaron, and Samuel as wives of Yahweh, who made Him their king, who “called upon Yahweh and he answered them.”


To call upon Yahweh and be answered is like we read in Exodus 34: “whenever Moses went in before Yahweh to speak with him, he would take the veil off.”


Talking to Yahweh then is possible in “the pillar of cloud.” Once Jacob, Moses, Aaron, and Samuel … even David … entered that “pillar of cloud” and spoke to Yahweh, “they kept his testimonies and the decree that he gave them.”


Entering the “pillar of cloud” means speaking face-to-face with Yahweh, which means one then wears His face before Him. That is the First Commandment, the first divine marriage vow.


Thus, after wearing the face of Yahweh, that face would shine through the skin of Moses’ face. That shine must be seen as wearing the halo of a Saint.


But, the prophecy of Exodus 34 says all Saints after Moses would have to wear the veil that masked what Yahweh decreed.


That means in exchange for fearing a commitment to Yahweh, the Word of Scripture will not lead one to know clearly what Yahweh expects from a soul … alone. Scripture is written behind a veil of nebulosity. It comes from a “pillar of cloud.” To fully understand Scripture, one has to enter that cloud and speak with Yahweh.


Can you see that?


<Look for nodding heads.>


Now, in the second letter Paul wrote to the true Christians in Corinth, he told them “only in Christ is [the veil] set aside.”


When Paul wrote “Christ,” he meant what that Greek word says. It means an “Anointment,” with the capitalization being divinely elevated to mean an “Anointment” by Yahweh. David was so “Anointed,” so David was “a Christ.”


Being divinely Anointed by Yahweh means the soul of His Son – Adam-Jesus – has been resurrected within one’s soul, with Adam-Jesus having been created by Yahweh for the purpose of “Anointment.” If one is a “Christ,” then one is reborn as Jesus. If one is reborn as Jesus, then one speaks with Yahweh; so, one enters the pillar of cloud and becomes one with the Son.


This is what Paul meant when he wrote, “when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.”


The Greek word written by Paul is “Kyrios,” which is a capitalized word that becomes divinely elevated from meaning “lord” or “master,” to meaning an instrument of Yahweh that is born into one’s soul, becoming the “Lord” over that soul and its body of flesh.


When Paul wrote “Lord,” he meant Jesus.


The veil of misunderstanding comes when translations of Hebrew into English call “Yahweh” “the Lord,” which then becomes confused by Paul’s use of “the Lord.”


Paul referred to Yahweh as the “Spirit,” or a capitalized “Pneuma.” But that becomes confusing, when Paul is shown to write, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is.”


While Paul was turned away from the veil by having let Jesus become his “Lord,” when he wrote what he was told down on a letter to send to other true Christians, the veil of understanding was placed over the words he wrote.


The Corinthians (and anyone else thereafter) had to likewise be reborn as Jesus, so as their “Lord” they could understand, having the veil of confusion turned away.


Paul said, (simply put), one must be a soul married to Yahweh in “Spirit,” in order to have the soul of His Son resurrected in one’s soul, so Jesus becomes the “Lord” of oneself.


Can you see that?


<Look for confused faces.>


When Paul wrote, “it is by God's mercy that we are engaged in this ministry,” that says one knows the difference between “the Lord” and “the Spirit” and has the veil of ignorance “turned away’ so one can be like Moses and “minister” to lost souls.


When Paul then wrote, “We have renounced the shameful things that one hides; we refuse to practice cunning or to falsify God's word,” that says divine union with Yahweh, having been reborn as His Son, can only come about through confession of all past sins, begging for forgiveness, which only Yahweh can give.


There are plenty of people wearing robes these days, who will gladly “practice cunning and falsify God’s word” and say, “I can forgive you in the name of Jesus Christ and promise you eternal life, if you say you believe in Jesus Christ.”


Maybe, add in twenty bucks once a week?


That is the blind offering the blind the veil of ignorance to wear, keeping their souls from ever entering the pillar of cloud and removing the veil and talking with Yahweh.


In the last verse of Paul’s third chapter, we read him writing this:


“And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a

mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another;

for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.”


In that long verse, one Greek word has been translated as “are being transformed into.” That word is “metamorphoumetha,” which can also translate as saying, “are being transfigured into.”


Now, when Paul wrote this letter, no one had yet published the first English edition of the “Holy Bible,” meaning Paul wrote that word without ever having read Luke, or Matthew, or Mark, all of whom wrote what we read on the last Sunday after the Epiphany, which is called Transfiguration Sunday.


That verse in Paul’s letter says he and all the true Christians he left behind in Corinth “are being transfigured into the same image” of Yahweh, all wearing His face in the pillar of cloud, talking to Yahweh as His Son.


Paul knew the truth, writing Moses “put a veil over his face to keep the people of Israel from gazing at the end of the glory that was being set aside.” The prophecy of Exodus 34 – which is the only place where the terminology of “shining face” and “veil” are written – was Moses being show that “their minds were hardened.”


That did not mean Aaron or Joshua or even the Israelites in the wilderness, much less David and Samuel had “hardened minds.” The prophecy says Moses was shown the true nature of human beings, which is to serve self as long as possible, only giving Yahweh and Jesus lip-service … until having fallen into the depths of despair.


As long as the going is good, who needs to change. Right?


No need to build an ark when there is no sign of rain. Right?


When Paul wrote in his fourth chapter, “by the open statement of the truth we commend ourselves to the conscience of everyone in the sight of God,” he was shown the same truth Moses had been shown. The people need good shepherds, because they will easily get lost.


The truth is people will plan to serve self by making it seem one is serving God. These become the false shepherds and hired hands, who love wearing veils. It is human nature crying out for someone to come devour their souls.


My wife chose to sacrifice her position in the world to serve God through a church. The couple I told you about made similar sacrifices to serve God through a church. But, what happened to all those plans of goodness?


The man’s mind was hardened and he had shameful things he hid. He reached the depths of despair that was being exposed and sentenced to prison.


He had served the law, but then the law became his judgment, as justice served.


His wife reached great depths of despair, feeling the shame of having been fooled. Her husband had been her high school sweetheart. She gave up everything to cleanse her own demons by serving a church. Then, from the best laid plans of mice and humans, she became lost.


My wife was a saint who faced death bravely. She never became lost, even though she lost her life in the flesh. Her soul stands with mine in this ministry. We are one, through divine marriage.


Paul was saying souls that reach rock bottom can then be cleansed of everything that kept their minds hardened. They can then open their hearts and beg Yahweh to redeem them.


Before my wife and I met, I had reached rock bottom. My prayers to Yahweh led to the two of us being paired together. I was in unofficial ministry at that time; and, I have never veered away from that service to Yahweh, although He has altered my course as needed.


When Yahweh chooses to save a soul, He plans on having ‘boots on the ground’ to help them remove their veils of ignorance. Yahweh’s plan involves the transfiguring of souls for that purpose.


This brings me to the Gospel reading in Luke. The verses that are mandatorily read fall under the heading “The Transfiguration.”


The veil surrounding that heading makes that nebulous. The question to be raised is, “Whose transfiguration?”


<Look at confused faces.>


Before this past week, I always thought “The Transfiguration” was relative to Jesus. Because I read he appeared dazzling white, alongside glowing Moses and glowing Elijah, that must be what a “transfiguration” means.


Raise your hand if you have thought similarly.


<Look at raised hands.>


The veil keeps us from seeing the truth, just like the veil makes us read Exodus 34 and think Moses must have had to go up the mountain twice to get a new set of tablets.


The veil keeps us from seeing that as a prophecy instructed by Yahweh to write, because Yahweh had shown Moses how the Covenant of marriage would become so severely broken … irrevocably … that He would finally allow the children of Israel the divorce they sought.


Jesus called their lust for divorce adultery.


The veil keeps us from seeing how the New Covenant is clearly Jesus. It clouds the issue with Moses going to fetch a new set of stone tablets – the first New Covenant to replace the Old Testament.


The veil keeps us from seeing Moses going back up the mountain as being metaphor for the promise of a Messiah, as told by the prophets sent to mediate the divorce.


The veil keeps us from seeing the return of Moses as being in the body of Jesus of Nazareth.


The veil keeps us from seeing this reading in Luke (and the others telling this story being read in other years) as a prophecy of what happens to all Saints, including Peter, James, John, Paul and all the others who were transfigured into the image of Jesus, seeing themselves in the mirror that has them wearing the face of Yahweh.


Just like several Sundays back we read of John the Baptist doing baptisms and the veil was removed to show how John did not baptize Jesus, like we all thought. John baptized the Jews who sought redemption, such that what Luke wrote says “of Jesus having been baptized,” meaning it was not Jesus John baptized, but many Jews received the spirit “of Jesus.”


Jesus was there, but John did not know his cousin was "the one who comes after." The one who filled John's soul after his sins needed to be washed clean was Adam-Jesus - the Son coming from the soul of John having married the Spirit of Yahweh.


In that reading we also hear of Yahweh speaking, which was not to Jesus, but to all those just baptized with his spirit. Yahweh speaks similarly in today’s reading, but the veil makes it seem like Yahweh only talks to His Son.


The veil makes it seem like only Jesus of Nazareth can be the Son of Yahweh.


Now, I wrote deeply about this reading from Luke. I posted that commentary on my website; and, I invite everyone to read that for a better understanding of what is behind the veil.


All I will say now is Yahweh saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” is directed at Peter, James, and John, therefore everyone who realizes it is not Jesus who needs to be transfigured, but everyone else. Jesus is the face of Yahweh that wears no veil.


The “Son” of Yahweh becomes the truth of all souls who marry Him and are reborn as Jesus.


Those “chosen” by Yahweh are those lost souls seeking to be found and redeemed. They have cried out for salvation.


To “listen” to Jesus means to remove the veil and speak to Yahweh.


The New Covenant, which replaces the broken marriage agreement between Yahweh and the Israelites, means Gentiles can now be those who are “chosen.”


As to the ‘optional’ verses … verses that are only optional on this one day once every ‘blue moon’ … become relative to those whose minds are hardened, thereby those who wear the veil of ignorance.


This has to be seen as Jesus fulfilling the prophecy of Exodus 34, when he came down with the new Covenant and the people were no longer led by marriage to Yahweh.


A man comes up to Jesus with his “only begotten” child, a male “youth,” who has an unclean spirit in him.


That says the Jews had become so wayward that even their young children were becoming demonically possessed. The term used translates as "youth" or "boy." This needs to be seen as one too young to be self-directed.


Rather than realize a responsibility for living a righteous life under Yahweh, the man could do nothing to raise his son right. Something is amiss when a child is possessed by unclean spirits. Something is amiss by a Jewish man only having one child.


While Jesus was on the mountain … only gone for three days … the people become ready to build some golden calf idol, rather than wait patiently for Jesus to come back down.


The man was blaming the disciples for not having healed his son; and, when he saw Jesus coming, he complained to Jesus. Then, his son went into convulsions, due to his demonic possession.


When Jesus said, “You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you and bear with you?” that speaks to everyone, at all times who read those words, asking, “When will the veils of ignorance be removed?”


Can you see that?


<Look for startled faces.>


I know the bus is due to arrive at any minute; so, I will end by saying that this is the last Sunday after the Epiphany. The period called Lent begins next Wednesday. Lent is not some Christian version of New Year’s resolutions.


Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, which comes after the debauchery that is called Fat Tuesday – Mardi Gras. All of that is symbolic of wearing the veil of ignorance.


All of that is why Jesus said to a man wearing self-righteousness before him, “Oh you born into a race without faith, whose people practice perverted rituals that blame religion for the presence of evil spirits.”


The truth that Jesus told the man … which is in turn each of you (men and women) … asks, “How much longer until I am one with your existence and able to guide you from within?”


Jesus must be seen as asking each of us that question on the last Sunday after the Epiphany.


The time to experiment with the new gifts of Christmas is over now.


The playtime of the college experience has come to an end.


Lent is when the final exams pit you alone in a desk, with a number two pencil, an answer sheet, test questions, and a blank pad of paper.


It is when you are expected to go face-to-face with Yahweh, enter the pillar of cloud, and let Him tell you the answers.


You have to be transfigured from wayward ego to obedient Son for that conversation to happen.


Then, you have to listen to him, in order to pass the test.


Amen

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