We begin the second week of Lent. In this week’s Gospel the story of the Transfiguration of Jesus is told. Jesus reveals a glimpse of His power and glory to three of His beloved disciples — the glory the apostles and we, his followers, will share with Him one day. The readings, therefore, invite us to cooperate with the Grace of the Holy Spirit to transform our lives by renewing them during this season of Lent, and to radiate the glory of the Transfigured Lord, which we have received, to people around us.
The first reading explains the call and trusting faith of Abraham. He trusted God so much that he was ready to do anything for God including the sacrifice of his son, Isaac. Abraham’s trusting faith in his God’s mercy and power and his total obedience to his God’s order to sacrifice his only son of his old age, transformed the life of Abraham, and made him the supreme model of Faith in God’s promises and obedience to His Holy Will. God blessed Abraham abundantly for his absolute and complete faith.
Paul assures us that it is by Jesus’ perfect obedience to the will of His Father, expressed in His suffering and death, that Jesus was glorified and became our Heavenly Intercessor. Paul also affirms that He who gave His Son for us will give us all things. We have every reason to have confidence in God because it is Christ Jesus, at the right hand of the Father, who intercedes for us, and nothing can separate us from Christ’s love, which Paul beautifully reminds us in the verse: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Paul further says that God’s love has no limits, as He offered His Son to die for us. The greatest proof of God’s love for us is the fact of the Incarnation and Crucifixion of His Son, Jesus, for us all.
In the Transfiguration, Jesus is revealed as a glorious figure, superior to Moses and Elijah. Jesus’s face is described as shining like the sun and His clothes as white as light. The primary purpose of Jesus’ Transfiguration was to allow Him to consult His Heavenly Father in order to ascertain His plan for His suffering, death, and resurrection. The secondary reason was to make His disciples aware of His Divine glory, so that they might discard their worldly ambitions and dreams of a conquering political Messiah, and so that they might be strengthened in their impending time of trial. On the mountain, Jesus is identified by the Heavenly Voice as the Son of God, and is introduced by God Himself as His Beloved Son. Thus, the Transfiguration narrative is a Christophany, that is, a manifestation or revelation of Who Jesus really is, and His mission, which is to suffer and die for our sins and the glory that follows His suffering.
In the celebration of each Holy Mass, our offering becomes the Body and Blood of Jesus under the appearances of bread and wine. Hence, just as the Transfiguration of Jesus strengthened the Apostles in their time of trial, each Holy Mass should be our source of strength against our own temptations and a source for the renewal of our lives during Lent. In addition, communion with Jesus in prayer and especially in the Eucharist should be a source of daily transformation of both our minds and hearts, enabling us to see Jesus in all of our brothers and sisters, with whom we come into contact each day. The liturgy also reminds us that in moments of doubt, pain and suffering, disappointment and despair, we need a Transfiguration mountain-top experience to reach out to God and listen to His consoling and comforting words: “This is my beloved son/daughter in whom I am well pleased.”
Activities for the second week of Lent include: Confession and Adoration on Wednesday from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, concluding with Benediction at 7:00 pm and Stations of the Cross on Friday at 6:00 pm, followed by Bible study led by Deacon Vince, in which he will focus on the Sunday readings. Also, the Knights of Columbus will hold a fish dinner Friday from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Please join us!
The reflection question for this week: “How could Jesus’ words to his disciples, ‘Rise, and have no fear’ pertain to you as you read the Transfiguration of Jesus?” Find at least one day this week to attend daily Mass and Eucharistic adoration and benediction this Wednesday to experience the glorious presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.