Second Sunday of Lent
Genesis 12:1-4; 2 Timothy 1:8-10; Matthew 17:1-9
The readings for this Second Sunday of Lent provide rich themes for us as we continue our Lenten journey. The call of Abram, the admonition of holiness of Paul, and the vision of the Transfiguration are all familiar passages. During this Lenten season, they serve to remind us that we are led toward something we could never dream, called to listen to the Word, and live a holy life, and we are strengthened by a grace that can help us renew our lives and come to greater trust in God.
In the first reading, we hear the account of the call of the unlikely Abram to become the patriarch, Abraham. He will no longer simply be the father of a small family but of a great nation. His name shall be great. God will bless those who bless him and curse those who curse him. Life moved to a level he could never dream, and his life was transformed in ways he could not dream would be possible.
Paul, in his letter to Timothy, reminds him to be strong and bear his “share of the hardship of the Gospel.” We, like Timothy, share this call from Jesus. For it is Jesus who “…saved us and called us to a holy life not according to our works but according to his own design.” We have a “Divine Mentor” who is present to us in all things we attempt and accomplish and who has gifted us as part of a thoughtful design for the universe.
In last Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus is led to a mountaintop by Satan and tempted. This week’s Scripture has Jesus leading Peter, James, and John to a mountaintop. Perhaps this moment in our Lenten pilgrimage is presenting us with some essential questions. Where do we need to be led? Where must we go deeper in our spiritual lives?
We do not know how the future will unfold, and neither did Jesus’ disciples. The vision of the Transfiguration was initially confusing to Peter, James, and John. They expressed the preference to stay in that familiar place, the mountaintop, in familiar “tents.” Jesus will have none of that. Instead, he calls them to a higher place: “Rise and do not be afraid.” The call to holiness is the call to “be a blessing.” Our prayer leads us to our own personal “mountaintop.” It is, in that place, that we can see what, by God’s grace, we can yet become.
Sr. Diane Forrest, OP