Second Sunday of Lent
(Click here for readings)
Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light.
Two Thumbs up. Not too long ago, I went to Tom Thumb to buy some groceries. Having less than 15 items in my cart, I went over to the “express” lane to check out. Unfortunately, as soon as I got there, the young man at the register waved me off. He said his lane was now closed. At that very moment, the store manager came from out of now where and firmly told him to reopen it. I could see from the look on his face he was very upset. But he kept his cool. I felt kind of bad for him. I asked him if he was finished for the day. He told me he was…fifteen minutes ago. As he scanned my items, I picked up a pack of chewing gum. After he scanned it I immediately handed it back to him. Looking a bit puzzled, he asked me if I wanted to return it. “No.” I said, “It’s for you.’ With that, the young man put a big smile on his face. Before I left, he said, “Thank you. You didn’t have to do that. It really meant a lot to me.” I thanked him back and I let him know he was a good kid.
Now I have to tell you I wasn’t wearing my collar that day. A few months passed before I went back to that store. When it was time for me to check out, I saw the young man I had spoken to before. Wearing my collar, I went to him thinking he wouldn’t remember (or recognize) me. Well, to my surprise he did. He had not forgotten me.
Again, looking a bit puzzled, he took one look at me and said, “Aren’t you the guy that…” Before he could finish, I said, “Yes! I am. Hope you’re doing better.”
“Oh man, I didn’t know you were a pastor.”
“I am. I’m a Catholic priest.” I said.
“Wow. K” Once again, his face changed. He put a smile on his face and radiated his inner self to me.
This experience (this story) may not seem like much, but it sure meant a lot to him and to me.
Stripping away the extras. Throughout life we put on not only some unwelcomed weight but also some unwelcomed tendencies. It’s easy to begin to think like others, talk like others and act like others. It’s easy to begin to add on the negatives as if they were calories! We have to be careful not to allow this to happen. We have to pray and reflect. We have to be at all times vigilant and proactive. If not, then we can easily become what we never wanted to be.
The Lord’s transfiguration could not have come at a better time. He knew what was about to happen to Him. He knew what was about to happen to his disciples. The devil’s fifteen minutes of fame were about to commence. And so the Lord made an important decision. He chose to reveal Himself before anyone could define Him; before cruel soldiers could drive barbarities into all our memories.
Is this any different from what happens to us on a daily basis. So often we arrive just at the nick of moment: maybe fifteen minutes before or after the devil, with the glorious opportunity to reveal His name to others.
The Lord’s transfiguration was a moment not to show off but to reveal His true essence, Pure Love. This is who I am. This is who I will always be, regardless of what happens to me; regardless of what others do to me. This is who I AM.
Lent is all about stripping ourselves from all the extras and putting on Christ, who is not an extra. He is the essential.
Now that is something we can all smile about.
P.S. Here is a beautiful song to help you with today’s transformation. (0)
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