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Second Sunday of lent

Doesn’t this day on which we celebrate the transfiguration of Jesus make you want to have a glimpse of how God sees us. For God sees our inner holiness and goodness despite our failings and all the wrongs we have done because he wants us to have life, life to the full.

Jesus is fully human and also fully divine but we are all made in God’s image with all the virtues, goodness, love and mercy of God. Our lifelong challenge is to use these gifts as best we can to help and support others and create a community inspired and motivated by God’s love.

From a homily by Fr Martin Hogan:

For too long now life has been particularly difficult, especially for people working in our hospitals and for the elderly living alone or in nursing homes. It has almost been like living Lent for forty months not forty days. Many have experienced a darkness creeping into their lives. When times are dark like this, we appreciate all the more the small pleasures of life, realising that they are not so small after all. In dark times we even thank God for gifts that we took for granted in better times.

Today’s gospel tells us that a special and unexpected gift was given to Peter, James and John. It was an experience of light they badly needed. Jesus showed them that beyond the impending darkness of his suffering and death there was a great light. The transfiguration revealed that beyond the trauma of suffering and death there would be a new and glorious life for Jesus and for all who believe in him. Suffering and death will not have the last word.

The disciples’ experience of Jesus transfigured not only pointed to a light beyond the darkness, it was itself a light within their darkness. The disciples saw the light of God’s presence shining through Jesus’ humanity in a way they had never seen it before, and would never see again until Jesus appeared to them as the risen Lord. The unexpected gift of this heavenly light would sustain them during the difficult times ahead.

We are on a pilgrimage towards an eternal Easter where suffering and death are no more. Rest assured that in the course of this pilgrimage we will be given glimpses of our eternal destiny, just as the disciples were given such a glimpse on the mount of transfiguration.

We also need God’s reassuring light here and now to strengthen and guide us as we make our pilgrim journey. The Lord will grace us with our own smaller transfiguration moments. There will be moments when we are touched in a special way by the Lord’s loving and life-giving presence that will enable us to be renewed or transfigured, if only in some small way. They will remind us of the words of St Paul, ‘With God on our side, who can be against us?’ Lent can help us be more open to these transfiguration moments which can occur anywhere and anytime.

The Father’s words spoken to Jesus, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him’, are words addressed to us all. We may not have transfiguration moments every day, but we can listen to the Lord every day. He alone is the beloved Son of God; his is the only word to which we must listen. By really listening to the words of Jesus through Lent they will help shape our lives and open us to an experience of the light of the Lord’s presence.

The light of his word will bring us to our own final transfiguration in the glory of God.

by Fr. Thomas O'BRIEN aa



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