ON THIS SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT we are treated to the great story about the Transfiguration of Jesus. There are many things we can meditate about today’s scripture, but I think it is worth noting that on the mountain Peter, James and John finally saw that there was much more (infinitely so) to Jesus than meets the human eye. During the transfiguration they got a glimpse of the future glory of Jesus’ resurrection. Like them we too get glimpses of the presence of God in our lives. We get glimpses of God in the love we receive from other people. We get glimpses of God when badly needed help suddenly comes to us from out of nowhere. We get glimpses of God when we look back over our lives and what we couldn’t understand in the past makes sense now. We see glimpses of God when we see someone making a sacrifice to help somebody else. We see glimpses of God in the beauty of a fine day, or in simple courtesies and acts of kindness that are extended to one another. We see glimpses of God when a passage from the Bible or a homily strikes a chord in our hearts. We get a glimpse of God when we spend time in prayer and experience the loving presence of God in our lives. We get more than just a glimpse of God when we receive the Body of Jesus Christ in Holy Communion, in the Eucharist. We get a glimpse of God’s love and mercy when we seek Him through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Transfiguration coming early in Lent encourages us to continue our Lenten penances because it reminds us of the glory of Jesus risen from the dead. When Jesus and the disciples came down the mountain Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone about his transfiguration until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. Of course they did not know what He meant at the time by this statement. Unknown to them the glory of Jesus’ transfiguration was preparing them to accept the scandal of the cross. They would understand this only afterwards when looking back. The good times take us through the bad times. So when our cross is heavy or when we are tempted to despair about the meaning of life, let us look beyond the pain of the present moment and remember those times when we got glimpses of God, those times when God sent us his consolations. Let us look beyond the pain of life and see the presence of God in our world, and the offer of life that God wants to make to each of us. Let us look beyond the illusion of happiness that this life offers to the real happiness that God offers us. God the Father loved the Son completely, but incredibly, in a certain sense, God the Father loved someone even more. He loved YOU more. He allowed his own Son to be sacrificed on the Cross, so that YOU would not have to die eternally. This is the most stupendous truth of faith ever imaginable. God loved you that much that he sacrificed his own Son for YOU, so that each of us might not only experience, but enjoy the Father-child relationship that God wants us to have for all eternity. But that’s not all. In his letter to the Romans today, St. Paul says, “If God did not even spare his own Son but handed him over to us all, will he not give us, with Him, everything else besides?” Folks, if God loved us that much, there isn’t anything He won’t give us to come to our full stature as His sons and daughters. That’s the most important thing for us to realize this Lent. The point of it is not just to give up good things, to do penance, et cetera, but in doing penance, in going to confession, in turning away from sin and believing in the Gospel, we might come to realize the full meaning of God’s love for us and then start to live in that love. The Father, who only spoke three times in the Gospel, said, “Listen to Him!” — listen to Jesus! Pay attention to Him! And Jesus says to us this Lent what he says to us every Lent, the words of his first homily, which we heard on Ash Wednesday: “Repent and believe in the Good News!” Repent from everything keep you from God, trusting in God like Abraham did in today’s first reading, and then believing in the greatest news ever, this news of God’s love, triumphing over it all. We finish with St. Paul’s faith, a faith like Abraham’s, a faith that each of us are called to develop over the course of this season of Lent beginning today. And so we should ask ourselves what St. Paul says in the continuation of his letter that comes on the heels of today’s second reading: “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35-39). Folks, may each of us not only believe in this love, but may each of us live this love as “doers of the word, not hearers only” (James 1:22).