Sunday, March 12, 2006
SECOND SUNDAY IN LENT
Today's traditional Gospel for this Second Sunday of Lent is again from Matthew 17:1-9 (The Transfiguration). I think the Church is teaching us to be prepare for Christ's humiliation in Gethsemani and on Calvary, where we could despair if we didn't believe in Christ's Divinity.
Let's look at that other transfiguration, where Jesus takes Peter, James and John, again those special three disciples, to the Garden and about 'a stones throw away', Jesus falls to the ground, praying: "My Father, if it is possible, let this chalice pass from me." (Matt 26:37) Now the Lord struggles to conform His human will with His and the Father's divine Will as He sees all the sins of the world; the sufferings He will endure because of those sins; the future sufferings of His Church, the sufferings of the Blessed Mother as co-redemptrix; and His own sufferings in the Blessed Sacrament, the blasphemies, the sacrileges and the indifference. "And He sweated blood and the blood dripped to the ground." (Luke 22:44)
At this transfiguration, where Our Lord countenance is changed, not in light and glory, but in desolation and sadness, there is no Moses or Elijah, but instead the Father sends an Angel to strengthen Him. And with that, Jesus accepts the cup of suffering: "Father, not my will, but Thine be done."
How many times in my life did I have to say those words: "Not my will, but Your's, O Lord": when we lost our home due to unemployment; when we had two stillborn children; when we found out our medical condition, (diabetes, kidney disease) when we had to move to another State for employment, causing a rupture in our family . . . But through it all, our Faith and love of the Lord increased, thanks be to God!
Knowing what Christ taught and lived, we see the contrast between what we are and what we are meant to be. What we are, if patiently accepted, is a help toward that Christian humility and mortification which is the foundation of personal holiness. "God has called us unto holiness" (1 Thess 4:7) -- that is, to be mature, balanced, happy Christians for the Glory of God!
O God, strengthen Your people with the blessing they ask, so that they may always be obedient to Your Will and rejoice in Your Gifts. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
God saves me, Jesus enlightens me, the Holy Spirit is my life, thus I fear nothing.