Reflection on Second Sunday of Lent, March 5

Reflection on Second Sunday of Lent, March 5


Genesis 12:1-4a

Psalms 33:4-5, 18-19, 20, 22

2 Timothy 1:8b-10


Matthew 17:1-9

Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother,
and led them up a high mountain by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them;
his face shone like the sun
and his clothes became white as light.
And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them,
conversing with him.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
"Lord, it is good that we are here.
If you wish, I will make three tents here,
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
While he was still speaking, behold,
a bright cloud cast a shadow over them,
then from the cloud came a voice that said,
"This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased;
listen to him."
When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate
and were very much afraid.
But Jesus came and touched them, saying,
"Rise, and do not be afraid."
And when the disciples raised their eyes,
they saw no one else but Jesus alone.

As they were coming down from the mountain,
Jesus charged them,
"Do not tell the vision to anyone
until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead."

We have entered into our first full week of Lent and I’m still surprised at how this season snuck up on me. We went from the season of Advent to Ash Wednesday in a blink of an eye. Today’s gospel reading highlights the transfiguration as Jesus reveals himself in a not-so-subtle way to Peter, James and John his brother. This Lent I am trying very hard to practice “Lectio Divina” – an old practice of reading scripture, meditating and praying intended to promote communion with God to increase one’s knowledge of scripture.

Lectio Divina (Latin for "Divine Reading") is a traditional monastic practice of scriptural reading, meditating and praying on that particular scripture. I have always found it difficult but trying to go deeper in my Lenten practice with this one.

Lent is a time that invites interruption. As I picture myself in this scene of scripture, I would honestly be terrified. I always think that Peter's reaction to seeing Jesus, Moses and Elijah is a little of fear and awe. In the reading he says, “Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, "Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." Peter didn’t know what to say or do so that seem to be the first thing that came to mind. Up until this point, the disciples were following Jesus along and had seen some miracles but seeing this and then hearing God’s voice must have been overwhelming. It was an interruption to what they were accustomed to doing. The 40 days of Lent are supposed to be about purification and an invitation to be more like Christ. What would Jesus think? How would Jesus have handled that situation? Can I grow closer to Jesus in this season? In the past, what was well meaning intentions such as giving up sugar or watching Netflix missed the point of how I could deepen my relationship with Jesus. It was all about me – not Christ. In Matthew 17:1-9, we are given a glimpse of what the possibility is if we give our hearts to God. The encounter of the transfiguration is meant to wake us up and think about those three areas for Lent in prayer, fasting and almsgiving. I heard a priest say once that no one “fails” at Lent. You only fail if in 40 days you are still the exact same person – unchanged. We will all try through these coming weeks at various ways to be a better version of ourselves. I keep going back to what would happen if I was on that mountaintop and experienced what Peter, James and John did and in my overwhelming fear I would also remember just how much Jesus sacrificed for us. As we are only a few days into our Lenten journey, let’s remember why we’re doing what we are doing and how at the end of it – there is something much more beautiful and profound waiting for us. God’s open arms that will ultimately comfort our hearts.

Lord, we pray that we become transfigured in Your presence, we pray that when people see us, they see You; thank You Lord, Amen.

— Sheryl Tirol, director of communications, Marketing and Communications