From the Pastor's Desk
2nd Sunday of Lent
The message for this Second Sunday of Lent is transformation or transfiguration especially during this Lent season.
How? By cooperating with the grace of God or the strengthening of the Holy Spirit by prayer, fasting and sharing our blessings. Result expected? A renewal of our spiritual life during Lent by our Spirit-filled lives radiating Christ’s love and mercy around us.
The first reading explains how his trusting faith in his God’s mercy and power and his blind obedience to his God’s order to sacrifice his only son of his old age, transformed the life of Abraham, making him the supreme model of Faith.
Second reading: God showed His love for us by allowing the transformation of the glorious preaching and healing ministry of His Son to a tragic end, proving that God’s love has no limits.
Today’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 116) speaks of God’s distress at the death of anyone. “Too costly in the eyes of the LORD is the death of His faithful.”
In the Transfiguration story in today’s Gospel, Jesus is revealed in His Heavenly glory, superior to Moses and Elijah. The primary purpose of Jesus’ Transfiguration was to allow him to consult his Heavenly Father and ascertain His plan for His Son’s suffering, death and Resurrection. God’s secondary aim was to make Jesus’ chosen disciples aware of Jesus’ Divine glory, so that they might discard their worldly ambitions and dreams of a conquering political Messiah and might be strengthened in their time of trial. A third aim was to give Jesus the conviction that he will be the Son of God his loving Father even during his suffering and death. Finally, by describing the theophany of Jesus’ Transfiguration, the Gospel gives us a glimpse of the Heavenly glory awaiting those who do God’s will by putting their trusting Faith in Him.
(1) Every sacrament we receive transforms our lives: for example, Baptism transforms us into children of God and heirs of heaven. Confirmation transforms us to brave witnesses of and warriors for Christ. Reconciliation transforms sinners to saints.
(2) The “transfiguration” in the Holy Mass is the source of our strength: In each Holy Mass, the bread and wine we offer on the altar are transformed into the crucified and risen, living body and blood of Jesus by transubstantiation. Just as Jesus' transfiguration strengthened the apostles in their time of trial, each holy Mass should be our source of Heavenly strength against temptations, and our renewal during Lent. In addition, our Holy Communion with the living Jesus should be the source of our daily “transfiguration,” transforming our minds and hearts so that we may do more good, by humble and selfless service to others.
(3) Christ’s transfiguration gives us the message of encouragement and hope: In moments of doubt and during our dark moments of despair and hopelessness, pains and suffering, the thought of our future transformation in Heaven will help us to reach out to God and to listen to His consoling words: "This is my beloved son." Let us offer our Lenten sacrifices to our Lord so that, through these practices of Lent and through the acceptance of our daily crosses, we may grow closer to him in his suffering, may share in the carrying of his cross and finally may share the glory of his second “transfiguration,” namely, his Resurrection
Transformation from pro-choice to pro-life: Dr. Peggy Hartshorn, president of Heartbeat International, tells a dramatic story about a woman who glimpsed the mystery of her unborn child. The young woman was seeking an abortion. She simply could not handle having a baby at this time. But she agreed to an ultrasound. When the baby appeared on the screen, the woman was amazed to see the perfectly formed body, the tiny legs and arms moving inside her womb. But the woman kept saying, "No, no, I have to have an abortion." Dr. Hartshorn felt sad. She knew that seventy-five percent of women who see an ultrasound decide to keep their baby - but that a quarter, nevertheless, still have the abortion. It seemed like this woman would be in that twentyfive percent. All of sudden, Dr. Hartshorn's assistant said, "Reach out and take your baby's hand." Dr. Hartshorn thought, "Oh, gosh, why is she saying that?" But the woman raised her hand and touched the monitor. As if by some divine cue, the baby stretched out his arm to the exact place of his mom's hand. On the screen his tiny fingers met hers. She kept her baby. There is a mystery inside each one of us - the mystery of the image of God. Today’s Gospel tells us how three of the apostles saw a glimpse, a tiny glimpse, of who Jesus was. That would transform them and sustain them through some dark moments following Jesus’.
Transfiguration in Children
- If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.
- If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.
- If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy.
- If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty.
- If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.
- If a child lives with encouragement, he learns confidence.
- If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate.
- If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice.
- If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith.
- If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself. If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world