For centuries the Church has combined the gospel we heard last Sunday about Christ’s temptations with the one we hear this weekend about his Transfiguration. We might have expected on the Second Sunday of Lent some more admonition about prayer, fasting, and almsgiving but instead we are told the wonderful story of the vision of Christ transformed. The juxta positioning of these two gospels is no accident. They remind us that we undertake penance with the hope of transformation. We are tempted but in Christ we can overcome. Although we need to fast we do so in the hope of future glory.
As ever what happens to Jesus is what can happen to his faithful followers. We are tempted – but we can resist and repel the Devil’s advances. We are called already to glory and we too are acknowledged as the children of God. Lent is not a time for gritting our teeth and getting on with things. It is rather a time when we open ourselves up to the transforming power of God. We fast to create a space in our lives for that. Fasting, prayer, and almsgiving make us less self-centred and more God centred.
We were told on Ash Wednesday that we are dust – we are told this Sunday that we are God’s children.