Stars in the Night Sky (Second Lent)

Jesus climbed the mountain to pray, taking Peter, John, and James along. While he was in prayer, the appearance of his face changed and his clothes became blinding white. At once two men were there talking with him. They turned out to be Moses and Elijah – and what a glorious appearance they made! They talked over his exodus, the one Jesus was about to complete in Jerusalem. (Luke 9: 28b – 31)

Those of us who live in the big city miss a whole lot when it comes to the beauty of nature that is all around us. On my first time being out in the country, on a boat in the middle of a calm lake late at night, I remember looking up. I had never seen so many stars before in my life. The city lights always made the sky a poor backdrop. Now an August meteor filled the sky with what I believed were hundreds of “falling” stars. That was a truly religious experience that has stayed with me. Decades later, when I look up at the night sky, no matter where I might be, I don’t see it in the way I used to before that night in the country.

Lent has begun. There is no more opportune time to get away from the bright lights that entice us but also ultimately blind us to God’s presence all around us. Like the disciples in the gospel, we need to us Lent to get away, go up the mountain, see the stars in the night sky, and find who Jesus really is or needs to be in our lives.

The moment Jesus was transfigured before the disciples their lives were changed. They, too, became transfigured. Never again would they look at their friend, their teacher, their Messiah in the same way. That moment made them different forever.

What do we need to change us, to make us different, to help us see the presence of Jesus with the clear eyes of faith? Lent can lead us to the answer.

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