Second Sunday of Lent
Reading 1 GN 12:1-4A
Reading 2 2 TM 1:8B-10
Gospel MT 17:1-9
I remember a high school teacher, Mr. Millette, using a phrase 'cheap immortality' to define our attempts to gain long term recognition for little effort. He gave an example of carving initials in trees or in wet concrete and encouraged us rather to do something meaningful with our lives that we will be remembered for. 'Cheap immortality'...it stuck with me.
Today's Scriptures speak to us on true immortality that can come only by listening to the word of God. In the first reading the covenant is being established between God and Abraham:
The LORD said to Abram: "Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father's house to a land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing...All the communities of the earth shall find blessing in you."
It is promise of posterity, immortality in the sense that Abraham's name will never be forgotten. But it is not 'cheap immortality' for it required sacrifice: "Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father's house to a land that I will show you..." In other words get out of your comfort zone, give up all that you are familiar and feel safe with, trust me and follow.
The second Sunday of Lent also always focuses on the Transfiguration of Christ. It is a turning point in his ministry: from here he will turn his eyes toward Jerusalem for one last visit to fulfill the mission. The Gospel account we hear today does not tell us the nature of the conversation between Jesus, Moses and Elijah but, to the witnesses, Peter, Andrew, James and John, it revealed his glory . However it also came with a steep price: his passion and death.
The Tranfiguration also gives us a glimpse of our own destined glory if we "listen to him". Like Abraham we are called to give up everything for the sake of the kingdom. It requires sacrifice. St. Paul tells us in the second reading:
"Beloved: Bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God."
Brothers and sisters, immortality awaits us but does glory?
Lent calls to "listen" and follow. Peace.
The Season of Lent is a special time for us to slow down, look inward and make the necessary changes to truly become an Easter people.