Second Sunday of Lent 2012
“It seems as if a shadow has fallen over our time, preventing us from clearly seeing the light of day.”
– Benedict XVI, Message for the World Day for Peace, 1 January 2012
As I was writing the reflection this week, there were the vagaries of winter. The Lenten season makes it easy to feel depressed. There have been moments of a hint of springtime coming, but the winter cold is still in the air. There is very little colour outdoors and there are many cloudy and dreary days with a deep chill. The temperatures are constantly going up and down, with more leanings toward the down. Ryan Snodden is predicting snow (again) this weekend. Maybe I am called to see things in a different light.
In the middles of our complex contemporary world, the good news of Jesus extends an invitation to us to be free to see things in a different light. In the midst of war and violence, we are invited to see God's presence and the invitation to peace. In the middle of poverty and injustice, we are challenged to hear the invitation to respect human dignity and the need for justice for all. In the middle of tough economic times, we are challenged to focus on the values that are truly most important.
In the first reading, Abraham learned to have a new vision and heard the desires of God in a different manner; he came to see that the death of Isaac was not wanted by God. Lent calls us to listen, to obey and to offer in sacrifice all we are and have. In that obedience, others will see through us to the glory of God. In our time, perhaps in some analogous way, we too have been learning to understand the social implications of the Gospel. We have been challenged these past few weeks to learn the same thing as we have been learning to challenge war as the solution to disputes and to question the policies that our country pursues. Perhaps we have been learning the same thing as we have been learning to speak up for just for those who are oppressed in any way. Perhaps we are seeing with new eyes that war and injustice, poverty and hunger do not have to exist in our world.
The Gospel of the Transfiguration gives us a sign of great hope. We have the possibility of seeing the presence of God in Jesus. We can have the possibility of seeing things more clearly in a new manner. We can have the possibility of seeing God in other people. We can have the possibility of letting go racism, of letting go of our addictions, of letting go of our need for power and control; of letting go violence; of letting go our inaction; of letting go our blindness and selfishness. It is within our possibility to solve international problems without resorting to war. Whatever religious experiences we have had on the mountaintop, it is possible to leave the mountain and come down and see God in all people and in all things. We have the possibility of seeing the world as a global community and see all people as our sisters and brothers. We have the possibility of making friends with the poor, the innocent, and all those who suffer unjustly. It is there that the glory shines through most clearly. We will need to remember the glory that seeps into our flesh.
– Helen Martinez, PBVM
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