2nd Sunday of Lent
Last Sunday, members of our parish R.C.I.A. program signed the book of the Elect, confirming their intentions in front of the community that they desire baptism and reception of the sacraments. In today’s Gospel, Christ’s appearance is changed in front of Peter, John, and James. His clothes become a dazzling white, and for a time, they do not recognize him. The man whom they accompanied to the top of the mountain is the same man they would travel down with, but somehow there is a profound moment of change. Perhaps it is not so much Christ who changed, but their perception of him that did. This is, in some ways, the opposite of the challenge we face with the sacraments; we cannot see how a person is changed at baptism. They are marked with outward signs: water poured over their head, oil on their forehand, and a white garment to reflect their new life in Christ. We must also remember, that they are inwardly changed. Baptism marks the beginning of the Christian call to serve Christ just as he served us: as priest, prophet, and king. These outward actions are a challenge for the newly baptized just as much as for those who were baptized as infants. Just like Peter, John, and James, we are tempted to remain silent, and resolve ourselves to an inward piety which ultimately serves only ourselves. Our baptism is a call for us to serve others, not ourselves. In our second reading, we hear “Our citizenship is in heaven”; citizenship comes with rights, but it also comes with obligations. We have an obligation to others, to the Church, to meet and serve others. The Synod on Synodality begins to tackle the difficulties the Church has at facilitating this moment of encounter. We can no longer afford to be silent like Peter, John, and James. The Church is calling us to a greater reality: to the reality of our communal calling as a baptized people. Over the course of the next few weeks, we’ll be beginning the parish work on the Synod. There is an opportunity for you to offer your sincere feedback, via the USMC survey. We’ll be using these survey responses as a jumping off point for our listening sessions held in the next few weeks.
We stand before You, Holy Spirit,
as we gather together in Your name.
With You alone to guide us, make Yourself at home in our hearts;
Teach us the way we must go and how we are to pursue it.
We are weak and sinful; do not let us promote disorder.
Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path nor partiality influence our actions.
Let us find in You our unity so that we may journey together to eternal life
and not stray from the way of truth and what is right.
All this we ask of You,
who are at work in every place and time,
in the communion of the Father and the Son,
forever and ever. Amen.
- Genesis 15.5-12, 17-18
- Psalm 27
- Philippians 3.17 – 4.1
- Luke 9.28b-36