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Each year on the 2nd Sunday of Lent we read one of the accounts of the Transfiguration of Christ. This weekend we read Matthew’s account of this event. The basic details are the same in each of the Gospel accounts of the Transfiguration. Jesus takes Peter, James and John up a high mountain. (In the scriptures, mountains were often the place for an encounter with God.) While there, Jesus was transfigured before their eyes --- “his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. And behold Moses and Elijah appeared to them conversing with him.” After Peter voiced his desire to stay in the experience, a voice from a cloud announced: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” After the experience was over, Jesus charged his disciples: “Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
I believe there are moments in each of our lives that are moments of great grace --- times when we see or experience things on a deeper level and feel God’s presence. These moments don’t occur regularly and certainly not often. They are not under our control, but they are “transfiguring” moments, nonetheless. Our “transfiguring’ moments may not be of the same intensity as that of Peter, James and John, but I believe they are no less real.
For our first reading for this 2nd Sunday of Lent we always read a section of the story of the call of Abram (soon to be Abraham). God told him: “I will make of you a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you.”
Our second reading this weekend is from the second Letter of St. Paul to Timothy. In the opening sentence of our reading for this weekend Timothy is admonished: “Beloved: Bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God.”
Questions for Reflection/Discussion:
1. As I mentioned above, I believe we all have “transfiguring” moments in our lives ---- certainly not as intense or to the same degree as Peter, James and John, but no less real. When have you had a “transfiguring” experience in your life?
2. How many people have you told about your “transfiguring” experience? If you’re like most people, it is a very limited number (if anyone at all). Why is it hard for us to talk about these experiences?
3. When you have had to bear a hardship did you find the strength that comes from God?