SOUL FOOD FOR HUNGRY ADULT COMMUNITIES: February 24, 2013, Second Sunday of Lent


GOSPEL OF THE TRANSFIGURATION OF THE LORD: Luke 9:28-36 (See Mass Readings for this Sunday, on HomePage)

At the corner of 4th and Walnut’is how Thomas Merton, the writer

Thomas Merton, Trappist Monk, Writer

and Trappist monk, begins the story of a great ‘Aha!’ moment in his own life.

In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all those people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like waking from a dream of separateness, of spurious self-isolation…

“It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race, though it is a race dedicated to many absurdities and one which makes many terrible mistakes: yet, with all that, God Himself gloried in becoming a member of the human race. A member of the human race! To think that such a commonplace realization should suddenly seem like news that one holds the winning ticket in a cosmic sweepstake 

“I have the immense joy of being man, a member of a race in which God Himself became incarnate. As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now that I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.

“Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts,… the core of their reality, the person that each one is in God’s eyes. If only they could all see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time. There would be no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, no more greed…I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other. But this cannot be seen, only believed and “understood” by a peculiar gift.”

From Conjectures of A Guilty Bystander:

Every Lent, on the Second Sunday of Lent, the Church places before us the event of the Transfiguration of the Lord. This year, it is from St. Luke, Chapter 9,  verses 28-36. You can find them in your own bible, or in Mass Readings for this Sunday, on Home Page.

Before we look at the story, we note that Luke, just 15 verses later in the same chapter 9, tells us  that ‘Jesus set his face for Jerusalem’.  ‘As the time drew near when Jesus would be taken up to heaven, he made up his mind to go to Jerusalem’,- or ‘he set his face for Jerusalem. He began his journey towards all that would happen in Jerusalem,- his betrayal, arrest, court appearance, handing over to the Romans, his death,-  and his resurrection.

Today’s Gospel is put before us, as our preparation for that journey up to Jerusalem,- the journey of these coming weeks of Lent. We too need to be shown who Jesus really is, beneath the ordinary, everyday person

On the high mountain, with his three closest friends, ‘he was transfigured’,- his face changed, his clothes became as bright as lightening. Standing between the two great prophets/leaders of Israel, ‘This is my Son, the Chosen One. Listen to him!’  This, the voice of the Father, about Jesus.

And maybe the three disciples remembered that brilliance, that ‘Aha!’ moment for them earlier, when they now watched their Master being led away by the soldiers and the mob, from the Garden of Gethsemane, on his way to his passion.

The story is re-told for us,- as we ‘set our face’ towards Holy Week and Easter Sunday. Will we remember this Sunday when we saw Jesus ‘walking around shining like the sun’?

Seamus Devitt C.Ss.R. 


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