Second Sunday of Lent

Peter, James, and John have seen the glory of their Master whose “face shone like the sun” and who appeared and spoke with the revered figures of Moses and Elijah.  They then hear the Father’s voice revealing Jesus as “my beloved Son” and commanding them to “listen to him.”  The disciples then “fell prostrate” and are described as “very much afraid.”  A powerful exchange immediately occurs: “Jesus came and touched them, saying ‘Rise, and do not be afraid.’”  These actions and words of our Lord are priceless; we need them as much as the disciples did.

We have all seen the wonders God has done in our lives.  Yet our response is often to recoil in fear, shame, or even pride.  This is normal.  Yet God wants more for us.  We too desire to feel Christ literally reaching out to us with his sacred hands, making contact with us, and calming us.  The next lines of the Gospel today give us the key to living this grace, because Peter, James, and John “raised their eyes,” only to see “no one else but Jesus alone.”  After confiding some struggles with one of my Jesuit brothers, he said to me “eyes on Jesus!”  That’s right.  Jesus is the one on whom we do well to fix our gaze, the one that Hopkins called the “Holiest, loveliest, bravest,” as well as “prince, hero of us, high-priest.” How might we love Jesus Christ ever more this Lent?  Even more importantly, how might we let him love us–showing us His glory, touching us, moving us beyond our fears, and captivating our eyes and hearts?

March 16th, 2014