Often we think we know someone. We have been around that person for quite a while and we think that we have them all figured out. There are no surprises left for us when it comes to our relationship with that person. Face value. We look beyond the mystery of the human person and place the person in our file of known realities. Then one day the person surprises us and does something completely unforeseen and we are left shaking our head. How could we have missed it? Did we ever really know that person at all? Do we ever really know anyone at all? All of the sudden we are made aware of the mystery of our human life once again.
There is something hidden in all of us, something that is as yet unseen and unknown. Perhaps it is something that we have not even realized about ourselves. We are often so busy taking care of the daily challenges of life that we have not had time to look any deeper. At times we have had indications and suspicions that there is something more that is hiding in the interior depths of our being but we have long ago stopped looking for it. We are just familiar and comfortable with the part of ourselves that we can see and that we know. Maybe we are more than a little bit afraid to find out who we really are because it would cause us to change our whole lives. If we caught a little glimpse of the greatness of glory that was hidden deep within us then we would have to start doing great things.
Often in our sinfulness we begin to settle for being mediocre and ordinary. We become so aware of our patterns of sin that we think that they are really the truth of our being. This is just who I am, this is what I am capable of, I really can’t be expected to do anything more at this time. Not too many of us can see ourselves as saints called to live and share in the glory of God. Most of us are just resigned to our daily struggles with sin.
When the truth is revealed and we see things as they are it can have a tremendous effect upon us. When we see the truth finally revealed in all of its light and glory we will fall to the ground in humble fear for we will see how unjust we have been in our treatment of ourselves and others based upon appearance. Today we see an example of this in the Transfiguration of Jesus. It is one thing for Jesus to speak about his identity as the Son of God, even to show acts of power in healing and preaching but it is a whole new reality to see Jesus revealed in all of his glory. His closest friends, Peter, James and John fall down on their faces in fear before the awesome reality of Jesus’ true glory. They realize suddenly that they really didn’t realize the truth and they certainly did not treat Jesus with the proper reverence and devotion that was his due as the Son of God. Now God says to them very clearly, “listen to him.” Peter, James and John had doubted and questioned Jesus and his teaching, now they would have to see him in a new light. Jesus reveals himself in full glory and the Father affirms his Sonship to the apostles because the appearance of Jesus in his suffering and crucifixion will hide his true glory and victory over sin and death.
We are given this reading of the Transfiguration to remind us in the beginning of Lent that we also must throw off the corruption of sin in our lives and reveal the true identity and glory of who we are as the children of God. We are given this time of Lent for purification and to discover our true, hidden glory as the children of God. We are called to clothe ourselves in holiness so that others may see the truth of God’s indwelling presence in us.
It is time for us to stop being “just me” in the world and to truly clothe ourselves in the glory of Christ. It is time to “clean up well” so that others may see our true witness to the glory of life in the kingdom of God. We are baptized into the Risen Christ, we are called to be holy and live as a praise of God’s glory. Today the true devotion and obedience of Abraham is revealed in his response to God’s request, may we also show forth a true devotion and obedience to the Lord in this time of Lent. Maybe God is calling us to a greater glory.
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