Second Sunday of Lent: Matthew 17:1-9

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The Transfiguration: Painting: Ronald Raab, CSC

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Dear Followers of the Light of Christ,

The gospel this weekend (Matthew 17:1-9), takes us all to a new perspective on a mountaintop. Last week we journeyed into the desert with Jesus to be confronted again with his temptation. This week we follow him up a mountain where he is transfigured before his disciples. Mountaintops always offer us an open and long-range perspective.

The Transfiguration is a foreshadowing of the resurrection. During this Lenten season the scriptures point us into the direction of what will happen— that all things will be redeemed in the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Jesus’ clothing becomes white as light. This is another image that we, too, will wear new clothing at Easter. This clothing is the garment from our baptisms. We share our life, our conversion, our hope in the Lord’s name and presence.

Jesus also is shrouded with the prophets from the past. This gospel shows us that Jesus has the authority to become a new prophet, a prophet unlike any other. The gospel also reveals the voice of God, the Father. We hear God’s voice to know that Jesus is the one to follow. Jesus also speaks to us, “Rise and do not be afraid.” This phrase echoes through this birth, death and resurrection. This also points us to the fact that we will rise with him on the last day. We shall follow him fearlessly into unknown ways where we have to let go of things that keep us from forgiveness, renewal and hope.

On this Second Sunday of Lent, the gospel is preparing us for the rest of the journey toward Easter. However, there is much in our lives that makes us fearful. Some people do not feel worthy of such a journey with Jesus. We must consider the climb of the disciples up the mountain to be in his presence, where all things will be transfigured and all sin and division will be wiped away.

The Transfiguration reveals to us not only that Jesus changes, but that our lives change as well. Keep going through the desert this Lent. Keep believing that all hardship and broken relationships will turn into real beauty and love for you. Keep moving beyond fear and pray for all people who desperately long for this transfiguration. Pray for forgiveness in your own life and pray for those who cannot forgive others that have hurt them severely.

Here are some questions to consider this week:

Place yourself in this scene with Jesus and the disciples. What amazes you and what fears arise within you? What in your life needs to be transfigured or changed in the Light of Christ? What in our world or society needs to be transfigured in the hope that Jesus redeems and loves all people?

Blessings to you as you pray with The Transfiguration,

Fr. Ron

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