Increase My Faith
February 28, 2021 (readings)
- Second Sunday of Lent
- Fr. James Swanson
Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified. Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them. As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant.
Opening Prayer: Lord, help me to pray well. My knowledge of you from prayer should grow and grow in my life until it enables me to overcome any difficulty. By praying well now, I will grow in love for you and further my own transformation.
Preparing for the Passion: Jesus knew how the faith of his disciples would be tested on the day of his passion. They would flee from him in the Garden of Gethsemane and fear that their mission had ended. Was it over? All that he taught them? All the good that he had done? Their faith would be shaken to its roots. They would need advance preparation for this great trial. Our Lord had this in mind when he invited Peter, James, and John to accompany him up the mountain.
A Glimpse: We were created to enjoy the beatific vision for all eternity in heaven. All that we find good in this life is connected somehow to that perfect goodness that will pour out of Jesus when we see him as he really is. The apostles were wonderstruck at the Transfiguration. Peter started to babble. He didn’t really know what to say, but he knew one thing—he wanted to stay there forever, seeing Jesus like this. We can only imagine the glory while we’re here but we can awaken our longing for eternity by reflecting on the Transfiguration, especially while we say the luminous mysteries of the rosary.
Will It Be Enough?: Peter, James, and John were Jesus’s chosen three, the ones closest to him. At this time in Jesus’s ministry, they were already beginning to form the core of the group of disciples. By witnessing this miracle, these three were blessed to glimpse Jesus’s divinity and to potentially rise above what their senses told them was disaster during the Passion. But did they? Only John stayed by Jesus’s side. The others responded less than perfectly. What a life lesson for us! Jesus will always give us the grace to accomplish his will, and we still may respond imperfectly. But Jesus doesn’t love us one bit less when we fail. In fact, in our weakness, he reaches out with even more grace. All we have to do is return to his side, as Peter and James eventually did.
Conversing with Christ: So often I fail in my struggle to follow you. I need to grow more in my faith. Like the apostles, I can do that only by reflecting on the wonders you work in my life every day. The greatest of these, the Eucharist, is the closest experience to your Transfiguration that I have had. Help me to see the Eucharist and the other events of my life with faith so I can learn how you lead and accompany me each day. May I grow in faith to help me overcome the obstacles in my life.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will take time to look at the happenings in my life with the eyes of faith in order to see your loving action towards me.
For Further Reflection: No Wonder They Call It the Real Presence: Lives Changed by Christ in Eucharistic Adoration by David Pearson.
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