Sunday, February 25
Second Sunday of Lent
Mark 9: 2 – 10
Jesus took Peter, James, and John
and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them,
and his clothes became dazzling white,
such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses,
and they were conversing with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
“Rabbi, it is good that we are here!
Let us make three tents:
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them;
from the cloud came a voice,
“This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”
Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone
but Jesus alone with them.
As they were coming down from the mountain,
he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone,
except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
So they kept the matter to themselves,
questioning what rising from the dead meant.
Even though it is only the second Sunday of Lent, the Church is already talking to us about the Resurrection. Here we are at the beginning of this penitential season, and we are given the story of Christ’s Transfiguration. Jesus shows Peter, James, and John a glimpse of His eternal glory, the glory that He will fully claim after the Resurrection. So, why is the Church giving us this gospel when Easter is more than a month away?
The reason is that the Cross is always linked to the Resurrection and the Resurrection is always linked with the Cross. As Catholics, the Cross and the Resurrection are two sides of the same coin. The season of Lent is a time for sacrifice and a time to acknowledge suffering in the world and in each of our lives. Everyone experiences suffering. But if we suffer with Jesus and allow Him to help us through it, it will not be the end of the story. The crosses that we encounter in our lives can purify us of selfishness and can lead us closer to Christ where we can experience the Joy of His Resurrection.
So, we make sacrifices during Lent in order that our lives may be transfigured. We strip away excesses so that we can refocus on what is most important, our relationship with Christ and eternal life. The essence of the Paschal Mystery is that Jesus’ Passion, Death, and Resurrection was our redemption. Therefore, we always remember the connection between the Cross and the Resurrection. Because His suffering and death would be meaningless without the Resurrection and there can be no Easter Sunday without Good Friday.
Deacon Chris Tuttle