We started the Lenten Season on Wednesday February 13. This holy season will continue until the evening of Holy Thursday (March 28) when we celebrate the Institution of the Eucharist. These forty days are a time of special prayer, fasting and giving alms.
February 24 will be the Second Sunday of Lent. Our readings are: Gen 15: 1-12, 17-18; Ps 27; Phil 3: 17-4:1; and Luke 9:28b-36. On the Second Sunday of Lent the Gospel always tells the story of the Transfiguration of Jesus.
This year it is from Luke. During Lent we are preparing ourselves for the Death and Resurrection of Jesus.
And the Transfiguration gives the disciples and us a preview of things to come–Resurrection and Glory after pain and suffering.
It will not be long after the Transfiguration in Luke’s Gospel before we enter into the passion and death of Jesus.
We will walk with Jesus through his agony in the garden, his humiliating betrayal, false conviction and bloody death alone, abandoned by all of his disciples!
So, the Transfiguration previewed the life of the world after the Death and Resurrection of Jesus.
Moses and Elijah and Jesus talk about the “passing over” into a new creation freed from the sin and selfishness that bound the people.
And that New Creation is the very world we are now living in! This is hard to believe, I know. Since we are surrounded by so much pain and suffering often caused by one human being upon another.
But, under it all, all of us baptized in the Lord Jesus carry the bright hot fire of the love of God, that same love that flamed out of Jesus on that mountain with Moses and Elijah. God said on that mountain: “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”
That loving command can change our lives and the life of the world, in spite of the evidence all around us.
We all know people who come as if “transfigured” with the love of God and genuine concern for people and this created universe.
Our “mountain” will be wherever we show forth the loving concern that is of God.
It could be the super-market, the barbershop, the gym, the meal program, the food pantry, or the street corner where the bright light of Jesus is needed so much.
If we really believed in the power of baptism, the transforming, transfiguring power of that awesome Sacrament, transfigurations would be taking place wherever we go, like sparks flying off of us igniting everyone and everything.