2nd Sunday of Lent (B):
FROM THE DEATH THE CROSS TO THE GLORY OF HIS RESURRECTION
- Main ideas of this Sunday’s liturgy
- The Transfiguration: anticipation of Christ’s glory and Resurrection.
1. Main ideas of this Sunday’s liturgy
On this Sunday, the mystery of the risen and glorified Christ seated at the right of the Father is anticipated. This is what happened in the mystery of the transfiguration which the Gospel presents: “To glory, through the cross.” God gave his Son to die for us (cfr 2nd reading), but the Passion is the way that leads to Resurrection (Preface).
Thus, we have to live the mystery of the cross always, and especially during these days of Lent, full of hope that one day, if we are faithful to Christ and His Church till death, we will also resurrect. By participating in the Eucharist of the glorious body of Christ, we become partakers of the eternal goods of heaven (cf. Prayer after communion).
2. The Transfiguration: anticipation of Christ’s glory and Resurrection.
Why does the Lenten liturgy present to us the mystery of the Transfiguration of Our Lord? The answer to this question is summarized by a point of the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 110:
Above all the Transfiguration shows forth the Trinity: “the Father in the voice, the Son in the man Jesus, the Spirit in the shining cloud” (Saint Thomas Aquinas). Speaking with Moses and Elijah about his “departure” (Luke 9:31), Jesus reveals that his glory comes by way of the cross and he anticipates his resurrection and his glorious coming “which will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21).
“You were transfigured on the mountain and your disciples, as much as they were capable of it, beheld your glory, O Christ our God, so that when they should see you crucified they would understand that your passion was voluntary, and proclaim to the world that you truly are the splendor of the Father.” (Byzantine Liturgy)
- Jesus reminds us through his Apostles Peter, James and John, to arrive at the glory of the Resurrection we have to pass by the Cross, as He Himself showed us with His Life. He also wanted to reassure His Apostles who have been foretold of His Passion and Death so as to instill in them the hope they need to carry out their mission of proclaiming the Good News of salvation in Christ. Inevitably will they face difficulties, persecutions, obstacles in spreading the Gospel but all is worth it for it is Christ’s way and if God is with us, who is against us (2nd reading)?
- Hence, we should not be discouraged if we also face difficulties not only in living our Christian life, but also the problems which life itself brings with it: the daily contradictions in family, work and social life, added up by illness, misunderstanding, or even calumny, persecution and so on… for this is the path where Christ treaded upon and if we know how to bear and offer them to God with Christian hope, joy and love, then, , it will no longer be our cross, but Christ’s Cross and to encounter His Cross is to encounter Jesus Christ himself, to live as Christ himself, to be Christ himself…
- “Lord, you have made me understand that to have the Cross is to encounter happiness, joy. And the reason – I see it more clearly than ever – is this: to have the Cross is to identify with Christ, it is to be Christ, and, therefore, to be a child of God (St. Josemaria, Meditation April 28, 1963)”
- “When you find yourself more closely with the Cross, do not be scared, do not get tired, it is a pampering of the Lord. Don’t you realize that the same thing happens in the human plane? When two people love each other, the joys and sufferings of one are the joys and sufferings of the other. That is why, when you carry the Cross with grace, be sure that you have found Jesus and, with Jesus, Mary in the way that the Lord is showing you.”
A blessed Sunday and week ahead! Fr. Rolly Arjonillo