February 21, 2016 — Second Sunday of Lent
Each liturgical year on the Second Sunday of Lent our Gospel Reading recounts what we call the Transfiguration of Christ. On the First Sunday (last week) we heard one of the accounts of Jesus’ temptations in the desert. There is a reason we hear this Gospel Word in this order. Last week we were informed of the temptations that await us, especially during this Holy Lenten period.
This week the way to overcome these temptations is revealed. The word “transfiguration” comes from the Latin trans, which means “across” and figura, meaning “form” or “shape.” It signifies a change of form or appearance, and this is exactly what happened to Jesus; His appearance changed and became glorious.
The description of the Transfiguration occurs in all three Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). This is a proclamation of the Lord’s divinity. It is intended for all of us. In fact, each of us is invited, just as Peter, James, and John are, to become a part of this experience. We are called to conversion and witness of the truth.
That is what Lent should be all about for us. The stewardship message is that we need to strive for conversion, for grasping the hope offered by Christ. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, “At His Transfiguration Christ showed His disciples the splendor of His beauty, to which He will shape and color those who are His.” Are we His? The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “Christ, Head of the Church, manifests what His Body contains and radiates the sacraments, ‘the hope of glory’.” (CCC 568)