Second Sunday of Lent

A TIME TO BE TRANSFIGURED

By Elizabeth Chesley-Jewell

Last weekend I attended the Rite of Election with my fiancé who will be baptized at the Easter Vigil. The experience of watching him stand and publicly consent to receiving the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist was incredibly moving. A quiet personal journey of becoming closer to God through RCIA will culminate in a much larger transfiguration at the Easter Vigil as myself, our family, and the Church watch him “put on Christ” and receive the gifts of the sacraments that he has felt called to for so long.

This week as we celebrate the Transfiguration of Jesus it is important to understand what the word transfiguration means. While on the mount with His disciples Jesus did not transform into the Son of God. A transformation would imply that it was only at this moment that He became Divine. Instead, the chosen apostles, who till now had only seen Jesus in his human form, see Jesus transfigured in all his glory as the Son of God. This moment serves as a source of hope for the disciples during the terrifying events of Christ’s suffering and death.

Lent is a solemn time of year. We are called to look at our shortcomings and focus on repentance and penance. Good Friday is a day where we acknowledge that our sins are the nails that fasten Jesus our Lord to the cross. Often, we pray to have the strength to never succumb to temptation and to sin no more. Essentially, we are praying to be transformed, to become something that is not human because we are all bound to sin at some point and must seek forgiveness.

But the transfiguration reminds us of our true nature. We are all made good. While our sins nailed Jesus to the cross we know that on Easter He rose from the dead and, in doing so, brought us salvation. Acknowledging that we are worthy of this gift can be difficult but, when we do, we are also transfigured. We begin to live a life that exudes goodness. We are made radiant with joy. Someone can look at us and, despite our scars, failings, and humanity, see the face of Christ. Furthermore, we are then able to approach the Eucharist and Easter like the members of the elect; with a humbled joy at the immense gift we have received.

As we journey through this Lent may we pray to be transfigured. To recognize our own goodness and to not be afraid to let that goodness shine as a light for others.

Sunday’s Readings:
Genesis 12.1-4
2 Timothy 1.8b-10
Matthew 17.1-9