Sunday, March 4, 2012

Second Sunday of Lent
On the second Sunday of each Lent, the Gospel selection is always the account of the Transfiguration according to one of the synoptic writers — Matthew, Mark, or Luke. The placement of this narrative at this point of the Lenten season is an encouraging reminder of the full glory to come at the end of our forty days of intense prayer and preparation.

The placement of the Transfiguration in the Gospel of Mark is also significant. In the previous passage, Jesus shared His first of three passion predictions with His closest disciples. In each instance, there was gross misunderstanding on the part of the disciples providing three opportunities for Jesus to teach His disciples the true nature of His mission and authentic discipleship – embracing one’s cross and being servant to all. The account of the Transfiguration is an experience of the disciples to give them encouragement along the way to Jerusalem, a very difficult journey.

The scene as Mark describes it evokes biblical images from the Jewish Scriptures. In the Old Testament, important revelations of God occurred on top of a mountain and the appearance of a cloud signifies God’s presence. The voice heard therefore is immediately identified as being God’s. The words of God are similar to the scene of Jesus being baptized in the river Jordan: “You are my beloved Son; with You I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:11)

This Gospel story is an opportunity for us to pray with our imagination and be present with Jesus on the mountain top. We can present ourselves to Jesus to be transfigured in ways that are personal and needed in our lives. We have the opportunity to ask Jesus to transform us into the disciples we are called to be. We can ask Jesus to accompany us along the way of the Lenten journey so we too will hear the voice of God say to each of us: “You are my beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
Jesus, help me to be transformed into the beloved disciple You call me to be. Increase the desire within my heart for this transformation. Amen.

Fr. Brian Cummings, S.S.E. ‘86, Director of Edmundite Campus Ministry

First Reading: Genesis 22:1-2, 9, 10-13, 15-18
Psalm 116:10, 15-19
Gospel: Mark 9:2-10

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

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