SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT
PS 33:4-5, 18-19, 20, 22
2 TIM 1:8B-10
Today’s Gospel is one of my all-time favorites. It tells how Jesus took Peter, James and John up on a mountain, away from civilization, and there they witnessed the transfiguration of Jesus. They also bore witness to the appearance of Moses and Elijah. This experience was so powerful, so joyous for Peter and the rest, that they suggested pitching tents and staying up on the mountain. But Jesus instead leads them back down the mountain, and instructs them to speak of the vision to all, but only after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.
I’ve always likened this reading to how we sometimes have powerful, almost transformation experiences. Perhaps it has been a spiritual retreat, or maybe going on a service/mission trip. We see so much good in these experiences, learn so much, and form such deep relationships that we don’t want to leave. We ask ourselves, “why can’t the real world be like this?” But just as Peter, James and John were instructed to share the vision once Jesus was resurrected, so too must we be willing to share our experiences with others. Otherwise, they were for naught, and only we benefited from them.
I think the same can be said about our experiences with Lent. Sometimes, I think we can make Lent a solitary season. It’s usually “I’m giving up sweets”, or “I’m going to read the Scriptures daily”. But why shouldn’t we share with other what we are doing? How about engaging in sacrifice together? Maybe get a group of friends to volunteer? Host a small group Bible study or scripture reflection session. Certainly, we must each make our meaning out of Lent, as we reflect on the sacrifice Jesus made for all of us. But there is no reason why we can’t also make it a community season, one in which we all can engage together.
Bobby Wassel serves as Assistant Director for the Center for Service and Community Engagement. He has spent the last 8 years working at SLU, connecting students, faculty and staff to service opportunities with the community.