The webpage of the Youth Ministry of the Irish Province of Augustinians

2nd Sunday of Lent, Year C

Today’s gospel passage presents us with Luke’s account of the Transfiguration of Jesus.  I suppose it is hard for us to imagine what it must have been like to witness such an event but it certainly must have been one of those “Oh!!!” moments for the disciples when they began to grasp, however imperfectly,  that they were part of something much greater than they had initially suspected.


Moses and Elijah are two highly evocative figures in Biblical terms.  Any jew at the time of Jesus would have been very well aware of who they were.  Moses, the greatest of the Patriarchs, who had met God and received the tablets of the law; and Elijah, the greatest of the Prophets, who had travelled in the fiery chariot to meet God.  The presence of these two figures was already suggestive of God’s presence to the disciples who were with Jesus on the mountain.  The voice that comes from the cloud confirms that they are not mistaken – God is there.


This insight is at the very heart of what Lent is all about.  Fasting, Prayer and Almsgiving – the three pillars of Christian penance – are all about discipline and training.  What are we training for?  We are preparing ourselves to meet God.  In other words, we are trying to ready ourselves to be in the presence of God.


God is already in our presence – that is the meaning of the incarnation when Jesus took on our human flesh.  Sometimes, however, we are not in the presence of God.  As Saint Augustine says in his confessions:

Late have I loved you, Beauty so ancient and so new,

late have I loved you!

Lo, you were within,

but I outside, seeking there for you,

and upon the shapely things you have made I rushed headlong,

I, misshapen.

You were with me, but I was not with you.

They held me back far from you,

those things which would have no being

were they not in you.”


Very few people will ever have the experience that the disciples had at the top of the mountain with Jesus when God’s presence was so evident but every one of us lives our lives in God’s presence even though we are often not focused on noticing it.


As we begin to experience our late springtime we can notice the wonders of new growth; our families and friends are signs to us of our lives having meaning beyond ourselves; even awful experiences like the earthquake in Haiti have opened the door to tremendous expressions of solidarity.  These examples, and many others, remind us that we are surrounded by God’s presence.


One of the big challenges of Lent is to tune ourselves in to become more aware of the presence of God in our lives, in our world and in ourselves.

Article posted on 25th of February 2010

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