Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Bolton

Stay with us, Lord, on our journey

Cycle C

Second Sunday of Lent

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 Luke 9:28-36

“This is my Son, the Chosen One”

In the section of Luke’s Gospel leading up to the narrative of the transfiguration there has been discussion about the identity of Jesus: King Herod’s questions, what the people think, and then the confession by Peter that “you are the Christ of God”. In response to this confession Jesus went on to predict his passion and death, and further warned that “if anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself, take up his cross and follow me”. This is the background and context for the transfiguration of Jesus. Right in the midst of this seemingly severe message appears the wonder and glory of the transfiguration.

The message is twofold. First, there is the voice of the Father: “This is my Son, my Chosen One. Listen to him.” His identity is clear. He is chosen for a mission, which is to open the way to glory for all God's children. Second, suffering and glory are not opposites in the story of Christ; it is through suffering for the gospel that glory breaks through. Jesus is seen here speaking with Moses and Elijah of “his passing which he was to accomplish in Jerusalem”. For that word “passing” Luke uses the Greek word “exodus” which signifies that death is not the end of Jesus’ plan. His coming death is seen not as an end, but as the passing-over into the glory of resurrection.

For us, taking up the cross daily consists mainly in seeking to remain faithful to Christ in a world which is indifferent and at times hostile to him. We too are ‘chosen ones’, beloved daughters and sons of God, called to share in the glory of his Son. At the same time we are to go on living in this world with all its attractions, allurements, and fascinations. In today’s second reading St. Paul reminds us that “our citizenship is in heaven”, in other words we live by a different set of values. For us, the “exodus” demands departure from everything that holds us back from full communion with Christ.