Second Sunday of Lent

Genesis 12:1-4A
2 Timothy 1:8B-10   
Matthew 17:1-9


Reflecting on these readings brought to mind the word encounter. In the first reading, Abraham encounters God in a call to move to a new and unknown land. He places his trust in God and follows God’s command. That encounter changed his life and those who came after him.

In the second reading, Timothy, speaking for God, tells us to bear with our share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God and to know that Christ saved us and calls us to a holy life. As believers, we encounter a loving and compassionate God who is with us at all times and gives us the faith and strength to live our lives as committed Christians.

In the gospel, three of Jesus’ closest followers, Peter, James and John, encounter Jesus in all his glory in the story of the Transfiguration.

These three reading provide much food for thought as we reflect on our own personal encounters with God.

For most of us, baptism was our first encounter with God. We probably were infants and have no recollection of that sacred moment, but hopefully, there did come a time when we chose to have a relationship with God, to encounter God, that made our baptism real for us. For Catholics, there were and are other sacramental experiences that deepen our encounters with God. Eucharist is available daily.

Just as the three apostles were transformed in their encounter with the Transfiguration experience, so too, we have been transformed through numerous experiences in our lives. Some of them may have been painful and some of great joy. Whatever the circumstance, we were transformed in some way. Just as Timothy wrote – we were and are able to bear with our hardships and blessings with the strength that comes from God. With every experience we have during every day of our lives we have the opportunity to recognize them as encounters with our ever present God. In dark days and days of blazing light, we are never alone. God is always with us. The key is to become aware of that Presence. Prayer and quiet reflection help.

What helps you to realize that God is always with you? How do you encounter God?

What experiences have aided in your on-going transformation?

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