“To be witnesses to Jesus is a gift we have not deserved; we may feel inadequate but we cannot back out with the excuse of our incapacity. We have not been on Mount Tabor, we have not seen with our own eyes the face of Jesus shining like the sun. However, we too were given the Word of Salvation, faith was given to us, and we have experienced the joy of meeting Jesus in different ways. Jesus also says to us: “Rise, and have no fear”. In this world, marked by selfishness and greed, the light of God is obscured by the worries of everyday life. We often say: I do not have time to pray, I am unable to carry out a service in the parish, to respond to the requests of others…But we must not forget that the Baptism and Confirmation we have received has made us witnesses, not because of our ability, but as a result of the gift of the Spirit.”
– Pope Francis
Collect for the Second Sunday of Lent
O God, who have commanded us to listen to your beloved Son, be pleased, we pray, to nourish us inwardly by your word, that, with spiritual sight made pure, we may rejoice to behold your glory. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.
Deus, qui nobis dilectum Filium tuum audire præcepisti, verbo tuo interius nos pascere digneris, ut, spiritali purificato intuitu, gloriæ tuæ lætemur aspectu. Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia sæcula sæculorum.
Today’s Gospel: Matthew 17:1-9
Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone. There in their presence he was transfigured; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became as white as the light. Suddenly Moses and Elijah appeared to them; they were talking with him. Then Peter spoke to Jesus. ‘Lord,’ he said ‘it is wonderful for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ He was still speaking when suddenly a bright cloud covered them with shadow, and from the cloud there came a voice which said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; he enjoys my favour. Listen to him.’ When they heard this, the disciples fell on their faces, overcome with fear. But Jesus came up and touched them. ‘Stand up,’ he said ‘do not be afraid.’ And when they raised their eyes they saw no one but only Jesus.
As they came down from the mountain Jesus gave them this order. ‘Tell no one about the vision until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.’
Second Week of Lent Reflection
Themes: Transfiguration, Glory, Calling, Blessing, Mercy, Purity, Humility, Trust
It might seem odd that the Transfiguration is so prominent during Lent (Mt 17:1-9; Mk 9:2-10; Lk 9:28-36), but it is a reminder that the goal of eternal glory is worth the trials, struggles, and moments of darkness. In the days leading up to the Transfiguration, Jesus had directly confronted and demolished any false notions the disciples might have had about the nature of his mission. He strongly expressed the unwavering commitment he had to offering himself as a sacrifice for the world: his kingdom was not of this world, and he was not a political leader or a military warrior; he was not promising comfort and wealth. On the contrary, Jesus was promising a cross.
Jesus took Peter, James, and John up Mount Tabor in order to call them to deeper discipleship, to a better understanding of Jesus’s identity and calling, and a clearer knowledge of their own identity and calling. They were already blessed, but their blessing was to come to fullness by the way of the cross, for the cross is the doorway to communion with God. The Transfiguration was a foretaste of the power and glory of God; it was a grace meant to shine in the dark night that enveloped the apostles following the crucifixion. By contemplating the Transfiguration, we can give thanks for the revelation of God’s glory, as well as for the trials and challenges that we must overcome, by God’s grace.
Contemplate, then, this statement of the Father on the mountain: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” Listen to him. Ponder the words of Christ. Gaze upon the Christ who is the Word!
O St Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in thee all my interests and desires. O St Joseph, assist me by thy powerful intercession and obtain for me all spiritual blessings through thy foster Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord, so that, having engaged here below thy heavenly power, I may offer thee my thanksgiving and homage.
O St Joseph, I never weary contemplating thee and Jesus asleep in thine arms. I dare not approach while he reposes near thy heart. Press him in my name and kiss his fine head for me, and ask him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for me.
Ancient Prayer to St Josep