Today's Gospel has me thinking.
We live in a culture full of stores of self-help books and people who believe that we don't really change. Is change possible? Or are our habits and tendencies and pasts so deeply ingrained in us that they never really leave, but maybe are masked by outward actions?
And He was transfigured before them...*
Christ revealed the infinite on a mountaintop to Peter, James, and John. Was He changed before them? Yes. Were their hearts changed as a result? I would say yes as well.
I can easily convince myself that I can't really change. That I repeat the same sins over and over, that I am no closer to Christ's vision for my life today than I was yesterday, that vice continues to trump virtue. I certainly don't feel transfigured by my routines or typically grasp a vision of heaven in everyday normalcy. Same old, same old.
But then I remember that my faith demonstrates invisible greatness made visible in the simplest realities.
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. *
And the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. *
Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. *
While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” *
Transfigured, before my very eyes. Transformation that cannot be guided by any guru, book, or talk show. I am altered in a very real way through every encounter with Christ, with every gift of grace through the Sacraments. I can see change in those around me, change that can only be a supernatural intervention.
Isn't that what Lent is all about? Changing our hearts to be more like His? We might fail, we might miss the mark, but that is our human condition. That doesn't mean that it isn't possible and that it is not what we are called to. We can change, but only with the power of Christ within us.
Rabbi, it is good for us to be here...*