Lent – A Journey of Return to God
The readings of this second Sunday of Lent lead us through a difficult sacrifice (cf. Genesis 22.1-18), remind us of the conquering love of God (cf. Romans 8.31-37), and give us (and the disciples) a glimpse of what is to come (cf. Mark 9.2-10).
I’m often a little surprised that the Transfiguration of the Lord appears on this second Sunday of Lent.
We have barely begun our Lenten journey, which can be quite challenging. Suddenly we find Peter, James and John in awe of a transfigured Jesus in conversation with Elijah and Moses. Terrified as they are, they would like it to last longer! However, it would seem that Jesus simply wants them to remember this moment in order to strengthen them for the times to come. He even asks them to keep this close to their hearts and not tell anyone until after his resurrection.
Challenges, hardships, suffering and darkness form a part of our life’s journey. However, there are also good moments and even great moments which brighten our path: the birth of a baby, the bursting joy and energy of a child, fulfilling work. Nature also brings light into our lives: the sun’s rays pierce the clouds to bring beauty to even a dull landscape, a timely rain over a parched land, the beauty of autumn leaves, and the brilliance of a new snowfall. Life is all about light and shadow.
Pope Francis in his Lenten message reminds us “During this season of conversion, let us renew our faith, draw from the “living water” of hope, and receive with open hearts the love of God, who makes us brothers and sisters in Christ.” . . . Faith calls us to accept the truth and testify to it before God and all our brothers and sisters.”
O God, who have commanded us to listen to your beloved Son, be pleased, we pray, to nourish us inwardly by your word, that, with spiritual sight made pure, we may rejoice to behold your glory. (Collect of today’s Mass)