Second Sunday of Lent (February 25, 2018)
“Jesus was transfigured before their eyes.”
Something remarkable happened on that mountain.
Consider the possibility that it was not Jesus who changed but rather it was Peter, James and John who were transformed. Imagine that this account from Mark’s Gospel documents the experience of Peter, James and John as their eyes were opened; their vision widened, enabling them to see without impediment the virtually blinding light of Jesus’ love that flowed from every fiber of his being.
Indeed, every day of Jesus’ life something of that remarkable brilliance, that remarkable passion, and that remarkable glory was revealed to people of all ages, stages and states of life. The shepherds and magi saw it; the elders in the temple saw it; the guests at a wedding saw it; a woman caught in adultery saw it; a boy possessed by demons saw it; a man born blind saw it; a good thief saw it.
If so many others could recognize it in a word, a glance, or a touch, why might Peter, James and John have required such extra effort in helping them to see Jesus’ glory? Perhaps it was because they were so close to Jesus; perhaps it was because they were with him every day; perhaps it was because, on some level, they had somehow taken his glory for granted.
What about us? Do we recognize that same divine glory present in us, present in others, present in creation, present in even the simplest and most ordinary, everyday experiences of justice, truth, healing, forgiveness, reconciliation and compassion?
Or do we take it for granted?
St. Francis de Sales saw the Transfiguration as a “glimpse of heaven.” During this season of Lent, may our eyes, our minds and our hearts be transfigured and transformed. May we see more clearly the glory of a God who always loves us, who redeems us, who heals us, who forgives us, who challenges us, who pursues us, who strengthens us and who inspires us.
May we grow in our ability, through the quality of our lives, to make that “glimpse of heaven” visible in the lives of others.