Sunday, February 28, is the 2nd Sunday of Lent and the Gospel for this Sunday related the event of the Transfiguration. This is related shortly after Jesus had foretold his passion and death, telling his disciples that he would have to endure great suffering. But then he goes on to tell them that his followers would also have to take up their cross in order to be his disciples.
And then he takes three of his disciples, Peter, James and John and goes up on a mountain to pray and then the disciples witness his Transfiguration. What does this Gospel tell us about our living the Lenten journey this year in 2010? I would suggest that since this Gospel reading comes so close to the beginning of lent it’s purpose just might be to show us what lent is supposed to do in us and for us as individuals and as a community. We are to follow Christ this lent along his paschal journey, along the way of the cross, all the way to another mountain and Calvary. Lent is meant to transform us so that we like St. Paul can say: "I have been crucified with Christ, and the life I live now is not my own; Christ is living in me."
As we know the purpose of lent is to bring Jesus more and more into our consciousness so that we and our daily life will be transfigured. It is our daily life that we seek to transform, not just our lives when we are in church or at prayer. Our daily life is to be transformed more and more by Christ’s grace.
Certainly an important part of our lent is prayer. In prayer Jesus is present to us in a special way and we frequently are conscious of his presence. It is in and through prayer that Jesus manifests himself to us, speaks to our hearts, loves us, becomes a part of our consciousness.
We are told that Jesus took Peter, James and John and went up a mountain precisely to pray. It was in that prayer that Jesus was transfigured. The disciples were so overcome that they wanted to remain on the mountain and build three tabernacles there.
We too sometimes would like to stay on the mountain with Jesus. But we have to come down, as the disciples did, and minister to others. Our experience on the mountain, just like our experience of this lent, must end up helping others. We hope to experience the Lord’s presence this lent and we hope then to be able to share that with others.
The photo posted on this blog is a photo of our pilgrimage group celebrating Mass on Mount Tabor in the Church of the Transfiguration on June 10, 2006. I was celebrant for the Mass. It was a wonderful experience.
To read Fr. Kenneth’s personal blog go to: http://kennethosb.blogspot.com/