Second Sunday of Lent – Year B
Right at the beginning of Lent, the Liturgy presents us with the way that God Himself saw the mystery of Christ by presenting the horrendous situation of Abraham being asked to immolate his only son. Just as anyone reacts with horror at the prospect of having to offer their own beloved child, yet the Scripture tells us that God overcame His Paternal reaction because of love for you and me! We might see this also in the light of the sad event in Florida in recent news. The world saw the reaction of parents and students to the senseless loss of their children and friends. And yet they and we are called on to try to see even such an event in the light of faith that truly all things work to the good of those who believe in the love of God. As difficult as it is for those close to these children to see their loss in the light of faith, so it is difficult even for God to see offering up His own Son for our sake. And yet He did so, because of His love for us.
Paul tells us that “He who did not spare His own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him? This everything else is shown to us in the mystery of today’s gospel. In it we see Christ Jesus transfigured and standing with Moses and Elijah. This was not solely a revelation of who Jesus Christ is. For in that moment it was not only Jesus who was transfigured, but also Moses and Elijah and along with them the whole of creation. The whole of time was transfigured in a way that Jesus could later say: “Before Abraham was, I am!” This was as powerful as the voice of the Father today proclaiming: “This is my beloved Son.”
In Christ, the whole of creation has been restored and renewed. But we cannot see that. We are called on to have faith in what we cannot see. We are all like blind men in the gospel. We are called on to have faith in the fact that this life and even this world is more than what we can see or perceive. Just as Abraham had to have faith in God’s promise even when called on to offer his ownly son, so we must believe that truly the love of God is with us in every event of our lives and that whatever seems to be lost in this life will be given to us in the life to come. And in actual fact, by faith we are called to believe that it has already been given to us and that we share even now in that new creation. Paul reminds us elsewhere that we all have both a physical body and a spiritual body. But we are called to believe that that spiritual body will be given not only in eternity, but is already ours to care for and make ready for eternity. Likewise the “new heaven and the new earth” promised by Christ is already given to us by faith. Truly God has given us all things along with Christ Jesus His Son. All we need to do is heed the words of the Father: “Listen to him!”
Here today as we celebrate this Eucharist, we are also on Mount Tabor and the transfiguration takes place not only in Christ but in the Eucharistic elements. And just as we are called on to believe by faith that those transfigured elements are truly the living presence of Jesus Christ, so we are called to believe by faith that God has given us all things in Christ Jesus. This is why we are called to live our lives here as children of God, children who have been given all things in Christ. Even our world has been given to us as part of this general transfiguration, and for this reason we are called to respect and care for creation as being a gift of God and a part of that new creation in Christ.
This Lent is a time given to prepare us for the great feast of Resurrection. And yet that resurrection and that transfiguration has been accomplished in Christ and even in us – if we but have faith and live accordingly. May this Lenten season bring us to recognize that we are blind to all of that, and enable us to cry out with the man in the gospels: “Lord, that I might see!”