Today we begin our Annual Retreat (Parish Lenten Mission) with my friend Fr. Tony Eseke. Mission starts at 7 PM every night from Sunday through Wednesday. Our Parish Penance Service is during our Parish Mission on Tuesday night with the opportunity for individual confessions with your favorite priests. We conclude our Parish Mission on Wednesday night with the Mass and special healing service.
We are in the second week of Lent and the scripture readings remind us that this beautiful season is all about renewal and becoming better version of our-selves. Fr. Tony will lead us with his talks in transforming our lives in Christ. And on this 2nd Sunday of Lent we learn about Transfiguration of Our Lord.
We may never know exactly what happened at the moment of the Transfiguration and how it happened. Even so, it conveys to us a message of great significance. It poses the question: who is this Jesus? It is stated “They kept awake and saw his glory.” This teaches us a good lesson: as long as our minds are asleep, we will miss much in life.
Do we not close our minds to new ideas simply because we are prejudiced? How often do we not shut our minds and do not even want to face our problems because we are lethargic? How often do we shut our minds against any disturbing thought because we love ease? Thus, one of the lessons we have to learn is that we should be fully awake to grasp the meaning and significance of things around us and the events in our life.
Transfiguration is enlightenment, awakening. As Jesus was transfigured, we too can, if we want. God-experience is the fruit of an earnest desire and hard striving. It starts with real awakening.
The disciples were given a chance to experience the glorious Christ. But it was so short that they again doubted. We all have experienced moments of happiness. After a tiring day, we go for a walk or relax. After a long day of heat, we enjoy taking a shower. After a quarrel we re-establish friendship. Then we see everything differently. All these moments are God’s revelations; there we have a taste of the transfiguration. It reminds us that suffering and turmoil are not the whole thing, that we should not succumb to false hopes and expectations.
For us it means concretely:
- Jesus and His Word is the light for us.
- We have the light only as long as we follow him and keep his word in daily life.
- To be a Christian means to take up the cross and follow the way of Jesus in order to be a sharer of his glory
We need to hold fast to the Word of God, then we to can see the glory of God who would say: ‘You are my beloved child.’
I pray that you all participate in the Parish Mission and be enriched in the Word of God!