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Reflection for the Second Sunday of Lent

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Molly Brockwell, OSB | March 4, 2023

Readings: 2 Corinthians 4:5-15, Matthew 17:1-9

Here we are once again, standing on the mountain with Jesus at the Transfiguration. We’re in good company, with Peter, James, and John, not to mention Moses and Elijah. In the passage that precedes this one, Jesus has just told the apostles for the first time that he will have to suffer and die, and that, as disciples, they will have to suffer, too. Certainly, they needed a glimpse of Jesus’ glory to fortify their faith and commitment for what lay ahead!

As we face a future of unknowns, what do we need to do? We must listen to Jesus, the beloved son. We’ve heard this advice before, in the scriptures at Jesus’ baptism, and in the Rule of St. Benedict. (We should be good at this, we’re professionals, right?) What does Jesus say? “Get up and do not be afraid” (Mt 17:7). When we pick ourselves up from the ground, will we see from a different vantage point? What new insights will we gain? “Do not be afraid.” Are we letting fear get in the way of our own transformation? What fears do I need to turn over to Jesus as we look towards our future?

We, along with the disciples, are privileged to have this vision of the transfigured Christ. This is the light of which Paul speaks, the light that “has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor 4:6). This vision casts out our fears and fills our hearts. We need to think back to the times when we have had glimpses of the face of Jesus in our lives. We know that we can’t pitch tents and stay forever in those mountaintop moments, but we can treasure them as touchstones to give light in the darkness.

On this Sunday, the schola will sing the glorious troparian for the Transfiguration with the refrain, When will we see your glory transform all the earth? I invite you to join me in making this refrain part of your prayer for our future planning. May Jesus’ glory transform us and transform our fears into faith.