March 5, 2023
by Edward Morse
Creighton University's School of Law
click here for photo and information about the writer

Second Sunday of Lent
Lectionary: 25

Genesis 12:1-4a
Psalm 33:4-5, 18-19, 20, 22.
Matthew 17:1-9

Praying Lent

What Is Fasting and Abstinence?

The Second Week of Lent - 41 min. - Text Transcript

Cooking Lent
Recipes for all the Fridays of Lent

Stations of the Cross

Today’s readings provide simple but important messages to help us along in our Lenten journey. 

The first reading from Genesis shares the good example of Abraham, who was known as Abram before God covenanted with him.  God called to Abram, asking him to leave his home and to follow Him.  Then He gave Abram a little insight about the purpose for that journey.  Abram did not have all the details he might have wanted.  But the call from God was sufficient.  He obeyed by following him in faith, not only right then but for many years afterward as he waited for a promised child, which did not come until he and his wife Sarah were very old.

Perseverance matters on a journey with God.  Sometimes we need encouragement along the way, as this journey is not always a peaceful walk through green pastures and beside still waters.  Sometimes storms rage around us.  Paul’s letter to Timothy exhorts us to bear up under burdens with strength that the Lord will supply. The Psalm for today reminds us that our Lord keeps an eye on us, His delivering power is near, and His kindness and mercy are trustworthy. 

Matthew’s gospel presents the Transfiguration of our Lord.  Jesus invited his closest disciples -- Peter, James, and John -- to witness a mysterious meeting with Moses and Elijah.  Their bodies were bathed in light, but not ordinary light like the sun.  There was a cloud, but it was not an ordinary cloud.  It was bright, yet it cast a shadow over them! A voice came from that cloud, but it was no ordinary voice.  The voice told them to listen.  Peter stopped his foolish babbling and joined James and John, who to their credit, remained speechless. 

The disciples had no categories to deal with this wondrous encounter.  Jesus had shown his disciples something about who he was and what kind of life he was bringing to us.  Romano Guardini writes: “The Transfiguration is the summer lightning of the coming Resurrection.  Also of our own resurrection, for we too are to partake of that transfigured life.  To be saved means to share in the life of Christ.  We too shall rise again, and our bodies will be transformed by the spirit, which itself is transformed by God.”  (The Lord, p. 276).

Jesus told the disciples to remain quiet about this vision until after he had been raised from the dead.  What?  He answers their obvious befuddlement with yet another category of mystery.  As Paul writes in his letter to Timothy, our Lord had indeed “destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.  These good men could not have begun to understand this mystery with the information they had now.  They would have to wait patiently until they could eventually connect the dots and see the significance of what they had experienced. 

Through our life journey, we will encounter mysteries that we do not understand. Some will involve pain, hardship, or injustice.  We may be tempted to reach conclusions about them, perhaps even complaining or grumbling.  But like Peter, James, and John, listening, trusting, and waiting may prove the better course.  Let us not forget that God is trustworthy and good. In His good pleasure, the meaning and purpose behind these mysteries may be revealed to us, perhaps as we gain wisdom and walk further with God.  But in the meantime, we must be encouraged by remembering that the reality waiting for us is wondrous, indeed.  The juice will be worth the squeeze.  Thanks be to God.

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