Second Sunday of Lent
GN 12:1-4A/2 TM 1:8B-10/MT 17:1-9
God works with imperfect people.
In the stories from today’s readings (God’s call to Abram and the Transfiguration of Jesus), God chooses flawed characters as working partners. Abram will go on to undermine God’s promises by giving up his wife, Sarai; the disciples will abandon Jesus to his enemies.
Surely God is aware of Abram’s weakness, as Jesus is aware of the disciples’. But God does not give up on people. These inconsistent, fearful individuals are called to be part of God’s saving work. God says to Abram,
“I will make of you a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
so that you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you
and curse those who curse you.
All the communities of the earth
shall find blessing in you.” (Gen 12:2-3)
God’s vision for Abram is almost too great to imagine. The blessing is not for Abram alone – God will make him a source of blessing and a gift for the whole world.
Similarly, the Transfiguration is a vision too glorious to behold – the disciples are nearly blinded by it. Yet this mind-blowing glimpse of Jesus’ true identity is God’s vision for all people. Christians often say, in a spirit of humility, “We could never be like Jesus.” But Christian faith makes a bold claim: what Jesus is by nature, we are called and destined to be by grace. The Transfiguration reveals not just who Jesus is – it’s a preview of transformed humanity, where the full image of God shines in each one of us.
It’s hard to reconcile human imperfection with God’s breathtaking vision and call. It’s not wrong to recognize our limitations. Yet God keeps calling, and this call to extraordinary transformation is ours, too. Transformation begins when we believe it can happen. May we love courageously and boldly, and trust God to transform us into the image of Christ.
Dr. Cara Anthony
Associate Professor, Theology Department