Second Sunday of Lent
March 13, 2022 Cycle C
by Rev. Jose Maria de Sousa Alvium Calado Cortes, F.S.C.B., Chaplain,
Saint John Paul II National Shrine
Sunday Reading Meditations
Today’s Gospel tells us that Jesus manifested his glory to three of his apostles on the holy mountain: “They saw his glory” (Lk 9:32)
“While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white” (Lk 9:29). Jesus manifested the beauty of God’s glory in his own body. To contemplate God’s light is the most amazing experience a human being can have. That is why Peter exclaims: “It is good that we are here” (Lk 9:33). God’s beauty is infinite!
The desire to see God is engraved in our hearts. Psalm 27 says: “Of you my heart has spoken: Seek his face” (Ps 27:8). Today’s responsorial psalm says: “Your presence, O Lord, I seek” (Ps 27:8). We should seek Jesus’ presence in all things. His glory is hidden everywhere. As we sing to the Lord in the Sanctus, “Heaven and earth are full of your glory.” When we recognize his presence, our hearts are filled with joy and peace: “Taste and see that the LORD is good” (Ps 34:8).
Christian life is a process of glorification. As Saint Paul says, “He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself (Phil 3:21).
Jesus’ transfiguration teaches us that his passion leads to the glory of the resurrection, enabling us to view human suffering in a different way. As Saint Paul says, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us” (Rm 8:18). In another place he says: “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory” (Col 3:3–4).
In order to see God’s light, we need to purify the eyes of our hearts. The Collect prayer says: “With spiritual sight made pure, we may rejoice to behold your glory.” The Father purifies our inner sight through Jesus’ Word: “This is my chosen Son; listen to him” (Lk 9:35). We need to nourish our inner selves with God’s Word in order to see beyond the surface. The Word of God enlightens us by illuminating the path to the Father’s glory.
Like Abraham, we need to lift our eyes toward the great and beautiful: “Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can” (Gen 15:5). God promised Abraham innumerable descendants and the possession of the land of Israel, sealing his promise with a covenant: “[T]here appeared a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch, which passed between those pieces. It was on that occasion that the LORD made a covenant with Abram” (Gen 15:17).
The transfiguration of the Lord reveals that God is light (cf. 1 Jn1:5). Since God is light, we are fearless, despite our circumstances. As we repeated today as the psalm refrain, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear?” (Ps 27:1). As Saint Paul says, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38–39).
We do not see Jesus’ glory yet. However, as we await his manifestation, we already have a foretaste. Today’s responsorial psalm invites us to wait with hope: “I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD” (Ps 27:13–14). Our hearts are overflowing with gratitude because God allows us to partake of the things of heaven even now, while we are still on earth. As Saint Paul teaches us, “our citizenship is in heaven” (Phil 3:20).
O Father of light, fullness of life and limitless truth, open our hearts to your Word and free us from the darkness. Restore our sight, that we may gaze upon your Son, who calls us to repentance and change of heart. Amen.