Gospel Reflection for the 2nd. Sunday of Lent
The drama in the gospel for this Sunday takes place on a mountain, as indeed does the very dramatic events in the first reading from the Book of Genesis.
The mountain in scripture is the place revelation. Throughout the bible, it is often on the mountain that God’s power and presence are revealed and experienced. It is on Mount Sinai that Moses experiences God and brings the people the Ten Commandments. Jesus proclaims the powerful Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount. In the gospels we are told that Jesus often went up the mountain by himself to pray so that he could hear God speaking to him. It is no surprise or coincidence that Jesus is crucified on the hill called Calvary.
In the gospel this Sunday Jesus takes some of his friends and followers away from the activity, noise and business of the market place. As he had done on his own before, he takes them to the mountain so that they can experience something wonderful and powerful. While they are there something out of the ordinary does happened; before their very eyes, Jesus is transfigured. He is changed. And then they hear these words from God; ‘This is my Son, the Beloved, listen to him.’
What are we to make of this event? What does it mean for us today? The call, invitation and challged of Lent is that we are to be transformed and changed. God calls to each of us and says, ‘Come back to me with all your heart.’ During this sacred season we are called to look honestly and humbly at our daily lives; at how we treat others, how we speak to them and how we behave. We are invited to ask ourselves, is there anything in my own daily life that need to changed and improved? How are we meant to be transformed during Lent before we celebrate the new life of Easter?
While on the mountain, Peter exclaims, ‘It is wonderful for us to be here.’ When we have the opportunity to gather with others to celebrate the Eucharist, could we make that our prayer and say, indeed, it is wonderful for us to be here. During the mass, we offer and present the ordinary bread and wine to God. God accepts, bless, transforms and then offers them back to us as the Body and Blood of his Son.
However, not only during Lent, but also whenever we are at mass, we are meant to be changed and transformed into the people God wants us to be. With faith and courage can we also offer our own ordinary daily lives to God with the bread and wine? God will accept, bless and transform us too, if we are open to allowing God to act powerfully in our lives. Just as those with Jesus left the mountain changed by what they heard and saw, we too in our own way are meant to leave mass changed, and renewed by what we have experience with each other. This week, let’s pray that we too will transfigured by God’s love, compassion and forgiveness as we continue our journey through Lent with Jesus and each other.
- Michael Moore OMI