Father Ed’s Reflection

March 8, 2020

Second Sunday of Lent A

Bulletin Reflection

Fr. Ed Smith

Genesis 12:1-4a; 2 Timothy 1:8b-10; Matthew 17:1-9

It might seem odd at first that, in the early weeks of Lent, we hear the account of the Transfiguration of Jesus. But there is certainly a good reason for this. It is almost as if the Church understands that, as we progress more deeply into the life of quiet prayer, fasting and penance that we are called to during the Lenten season, we need a reminder that being a faithful Christian is ultimately a life of joy and, in fact, glory. This certainly occurs for the disciples on the mountain as Jesus is transfigured before their eyes: We are told that “His face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light.” This certainly brings out the joy and glory of our faith, but a question remains: “Why did Jesus reveal himself in this way to His disciples? First of all, Jesus does not explode in light on Mount Tabor as just a flashy display of divine power. Rather, He shows who He is in order to strengthen the faith of His disciples so that when their faith in him is tested they will be able to stand firm. Jesus is not just a “nice guy” who works miracles and says kind things. He is, in fact, the Son of God, living among His people, revealing in every action and word the depth of His love and care, that He understands us, and that He calls us to a glorious future. In the Transfiguration of Jesus, for one moment in time, the veil between heaven and earth is lifted and human beings have a glimpse of the glory that is Jesus in the heavenly kingdom. And gazing on His radiant face in heaven forever is the destiny to which we all aspire as Christian believers. The disciples [as well as we] are called to a radical faith in this real Jesus. And it is this conviction of faith which sustains us during the dry times of life. Moreover, it is the assurance of hope in eternal glory that gives us peace even during the most difficult moments of our existence. So, it is a very good thing that we read this Gospel on this Second Sunday of Lent. It reminds us of just what Jesus has waiting for us at the end of the journey!