The readings for the second Sunday of Lent highlight the themes of calling, blessing and anticipating. Abram was called by God to leave his family, land and culture and to “go forth” in faith to a new and unknown land. It required everything of Abram, but it also came with immense blessing: “I will make you a great nation, and will bless you.” We, too, are called to give everything to God in complete faith, trusting that what he has in store for us is of incomparable value. St. Paul told Timothy that God has called us “to a holy life” that is filled with grace, leading to liberation from death and the blessing of “life and immortality.”
It might seem odd that the Transfiguration is so prominent during Lent, but it is a reminder that the goal of eternal glory is worth the trials, struggles and moments of darkness. Jesus took Peter, James and John up Mount Tabor in order to call them to deeper discipleship, to a better understanding of Jesus’ identity and calling, and a clearer knowledge of their own identity and calling. They were already blessed, but their blessing was to come to fullness by the way of the cross. The Transfiguration was a foretaste of the power and glory of God; it was a grace meant to shine in the dark night that enveloped the apostles following the crucifixion. By contemplating the Transfiguration, we can give thanks for the revelation of God’s glory, as well as for the trials and challenges we must overcome by God’s grace.
“O St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in thee all my interests and desires. O St. Joseph, assist me by thy powerful intercession and obtain for me all spiritual blessings through thy foster Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord, so that, having engaged here below thy heavenly power, I may offer thee my thanksgiving and homage.
O St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating thee and Jesus asleep in thine arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near thy heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath.
St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for me. Amen.”
— Ancient Prayer to St. Joseph
Themes: Transfiguration, Glory, Calling, Blessing, Mercy, Purity, Humility, Trust