The Second Sunday of Lent
March 12, 2017
Fr. José Maria Alvim Cortes, F.S.C.B.
Sunday Reading Meditations
The first time I went to the Holy Land, I decided to climb Mount Tabor instead of taking a taxi to the top. This gave me time to pray and imagine Jesus and the Apostles climbing the mountain. When I arrived at the top, I was amazed by the beauty of the panorama and intense spiritual atmosphere. From there, you can see very far. It is easy to imagine Jesus’ transfiguration happening in this place.
In our lives, we need to pass repeatedly from the plain to the top of the mountain. It is necessary to elevate our existence to a higher dimension. Faith allows us to make this passage, this transfiguration.
In today’s second reading, Saint Paul says: “He saved us and called us to a holy life” (2 Tm 1:9). God is constantly calling us. He knows us and calls us by name. As he called Abraham and invited him to go forth to a different land, he challenges us to go further, to leave our comfort zone. As he did with Abraham, he wants to do great things through us. In the same way that Jesus took Peter, James and John, he wants to show us his glory.
The truth of things is concealed by appearances. A veil covers the real meaning of life. When Jesus transfigured himself before the Apostles, he revealed the glory concealed beneath his familiar appearance. In all things, there is a hidden glory. We do not see it because “what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
The Lenten season is a time of transfiguration. It is a time to pass from superficiality to depth. It is the season to conquer what distracts us from what really matters. We need to stop. We need to take the time to listen to God’s voice. We need to find time for silence and prayer. We need to lift up our hearts in order to find peace in our lives.
Many times we feel caught in our problems and hope seems to disappear. However, we need to understand that all storms are only on the surface of the ocean. In the deeper waters, we find peace. Saints are able to live in a deeper dimension. Even when they face tempests, they do not lose the peace found in the deep waters.
At the top of Mount Tabor, the three disciples received the grace of a powerful experience of God. They had a glimpse of the joys of paradise. What they saw and heard was infinitely greater than everything on earth. When they came down the mountain, they were different. Henceforth, the way they saw everything was radically changed. They had the memory of the Light. The ordinary became extraordinary. Now, they knew that God is all in all.
I am increasingly convinced that the times we live in and the times to come are not for mediocre Christians, for people who have superficial faith without inner conviction. Formality and routine are not enough. We must have a personal experience of the divine. Like the Apostles, we need the grace of a powerful experience of God.
Transfiguration is not an evasion of reality. It is to connect ordinary things with the eternal. This is impossible if we do not make prayer a real priority in our lives. We need to take serious care of our relationship with Christ. People transfigured by dialogue with God in prayer can transfigure the world!
May this Lent be a time
for the transfiguration of our lives! Amen.
 de Saint-Exupéry, Antoine, The Little Prince, translated by Katherine Woods, New York, Harcourt, Inc., p. 48.
Sunday Reading Meditations