Second Sunday of Lent: Gospel of Matthew 17: 1-9
By Sr. Catherine Cleary, OSB
Matthew’s gospels for the first two Sundays in Lent clearly show readers that Jesus was the fulfillment of the prophecies of Israel. Last week, Jesus’ fasting in the desert reminded us of Moses’ sojourn in the desert. Today’s gospel highlights Jesus as the new Moses as he appears on a high mountain with Moses and Elijah, his face shining as Moses’ did when he saw God. (Ex 34:29)
Jesus’ transfiguration appears to be God revealing his divinity by shining through Jesus’ human body like sunlight beaming within. Surely this event announces the possibilities of our innermost self being transformed also!
Though the words spoken are of Jesus – “This is my beloved child, in whom I am well pleased” – they also are spoken to us daily as we continue our faith journey. We belong to God too: we are the body of Christ. If Jesus is beloved, so are we!
Lent is the season that reminds us, calls us, and beckons us to recall this truth. Through our prayers, fasting, and almsgiving, our faces, too, shine forth with the goodness and grace of God.
Haven’t you met people about whom you say later, “They look so good, so holy,” or, ” I love the light that shines from her/his face and eyes.” These people, my dear readers, are transfigured, and only those who have also been transfigured recognize such an experience.
So today, can you begin to believe that you are transformed through your Lenten resolutions, prayer, fasting and almsgiving? Can you begin to believe you are beloved?