For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser.
Each year on the Second Sunday of Lent we read one of the accounts of the Transfiguration of Jesus. Since this is year C in our three year cycle of readings, we read from the Gospel of Luke. In Luke’s account, we are told that “Jesus took Peter, John, and James and went up the mountain to pray. While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah………………… As they were about to part from him, Peter said to Jesus, ‘Master it is good that we are here;’ ……………… from a cloud came a voice that said, ‘This is my chosen Son; listen to him”
There are several elements that are common to all three accounts of the Transfiguration. 1. It took place on a mountain, which in the Old Testament often was the place where God’s presence was made known; 2. Jesus’ clothes become dazzling white or white as light; 3. Moses and Elijah are identified as appearing with Christ; 4. Peter suggested that they stay; and 5. A voice came from a cloud identifying Jesus as God’s chosen/beloved son.
The experience of the Transfiguration certainly must have been overwhelming and awe inspiring. I would suggest, though, that we all have had similar experiences in our lives ----- perhaps not to the depth or degree of the Transfiguration ----- but we all have experiences of God’s presence and grace ----“transfiguring” experiences. These experiences give us hope when we encounter difficult or uncertain times in our lives.
Our first reading this weekend is taken from the Book of Genesis. It is the story of God’s covenant with Abram (later Abraham) that his descendants would be as numerous as the “stars in the sky” and that: “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the Great River, the Euphrates.”
Our second reading this weekend is from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Philippians. In it Paul reminds us that “our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Questions for Reflection/Discussion:
- When have you had a “transfiguring” experience in your life?
- What stands out in your memory about that experience?
- Have you ever thought of yourself as a citizen of heaven?