Dear Followers of Jesus,
On this Second Sunday of Lent, we follow Jesus and a few of the disciples up a mountain. Unbelievable things come to light. Jesus is transfigured. They listen to their ancestors, Moses and Elijah. The voice of the Father speaks to them from a cloud, “This is my beloved Son, listen to him.”
Jesus beckons us to the hilltop to listen as well. If we have the courage to follow Jesus in this Lenten season, then we shall certainly learn to view our lives differently and our world will be transfigured. The mountain experience gives the disciples a new viewpoint. We need that new perspective on so many issues and concerns in our world today.
We need a new perspective on faith. Our hearts ache to view our image of God, not as a violent judge or hater of us, but of a loving Father who desires our hearts more than we can imagine. We long for a new perspective on our children, their sustaining love within healthy relationships. We need a new perspective on mental health. We need to see poverty differently and how it effects imprisonment, joblessness and violent behavior of so many young people. We need to view drugs and alcohol differently as we constantly see the effects of alcohol among our families. We need a more comprehensive view of violence, the role of guns, the turmoil of abuse and the consequences of multiple addictions in our society. Most of all, we need a new perspective on how fear controls so many aspects of our lives.
We are called during the Lenten season to make a choice for life, the call to support the wellbeing and welfare of all people. Climbing the mountain for a new perspective means that once our eyes are open to the person of Jesus, we must examine the ways we think we have all the answers to life. We easily delude ourselves. We are challenged to discover how hate needs to blend into love, how our negligence needs to be a call to serve, how apathy must turn us toward love and creativity, how our negativity must turn into our praise to God in worship and love.
Life is way too short to live in fear. Faith beckons us on to the mountain. One of the great lessons we learn in the Transfiguration is that we are already connected to God. We don’t have to prove ourselves or condemn others to get the Father’s attention. I pray that we can enter into this passage with an open heart and let go of our stories that tell us that our sins keep us from God. This has enormous consequences, because if we live thinking we are apart from God, then it is easy to finger point to others and believe that others must be separated from God and the Church as well.