Second Sunday of Lent
Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18 Philippians 3:17-4:1 Luke 9:28b-36
Have you had an experience that caused you to see someone in a completely new light? Perhaps you saw your daughter in cap and gown at her graduation. Perhaps your brother held his newborn baby in his arms. Perhaps your father performed an unexpected act of compassion, or your mother revealed courage that had previously been hidden from you. You may have been tongue-tied, not knowing how to relate to the person who had been transfigured before your very eyes. In the Gospel today the disciples of Jesus see him in a completely new light. His face is “changed in appearance” and they don’t know what to say or do. Before the disciples can respond appropriately to Jesus, they must learn to believe their eyes and ears—that Jesus is the “chosen Son” of God.
We also need to learn to believe our eyes and ears if we are to respond appropriately to Christ. In the second reading today Paul urges us to imitate him. Paul, who once saw Jesus in a wholly negative light, experienced the real presence of the risen Lord on the road to Damascus. Gradually he learned to believe that Jesus is the Lord, the Son of God, and it changed his whole life. Paul began to imitate the Christ he preached. In this way Christ was transfiguring Paul “to conform with his glorified body.”
The season of Lent invites us to believe, more deeply, in the Real Presence of the risen Lord in the Eucharist. When experienced through the eyes and ears of faith, an ordinary community, mere words and simple bread and wine are transfigured before our eyes—and so are we. Little by little we learn how to respond to the chosen Son of God in whom we believe. The more we believe, the more Christ will do in us what he did in Paul and Peter, John and James. He will transfigure us into the real presence of Christ for the world.