For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser. https://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/022518.cfm
Each year on the 2nd Sunday of Lent we read one of the accounts of the Transfiguration of Christ. The various parts of the story are well known. Jesus led Peter, James and John “ up a high mountain,” his “clothes became dazzling white,” then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were “conversing with Jesus.” Peter announced “it is good that we are here,” then a cloud overshadowed them and from the cloud came a voice proclaiming: “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” After the experience Jesus charged them not to tell anyone what they had seen “except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.”
All these various details are important. The high mountain and the dazzling garments suggest the presence of God. Moses and Elijah represented the law and the prophets, the two most important elements of Judaism. The voice from heaven affirms that it was a divine experience. And the admonition not to tell anyone until the Son of Man had risen from the dead was meant to incite hope in the disciples that the glory that was revealed in Jesus would also be his after his death.
I believe that in each of our lives, we have “transfiguring” moments ----- certainly not as profound or as deep as the transfiguration the disciples experienced ----- but moments nonetheless when we experience God’s presence and grace --- God’s love and life. They give us hope in the face of life’s pain. They help us believe that if we hold on to God, God will hold on to us. This was Paul’s message in our second reading this Sunday from the Letter to the Romans. In that reading Paul is clear: “If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Our first reading this Sunday is taken the Book of Genesis. It is the story of God putting Abraham to the test by asking him to offer his only son, Isaac, as a holocaust. While the story is grim, the point is that at times God can ask much of us, but the God who calls us also gives us the grace and strength to respond to that call.
Our second readning this Sunday is from St. Paul's letter to the Romans. In the opening sentence Paul reminds us of a basic tenent of our faith. "Brothers and sisters: If God is for us, who can be against us?"
Questions for Reflection/Discussion:
- When have you had a “transfiguring” moment in your life?
- In what way has the grace of that moment helped you to face any difficult situations you encountered later in life?
- When have you felt God asking you to do something difficult or something you didn’t want to do?