Sunday Scripture readings: March 12, 2017

Second Sunday of Lent

First reading: Genesis 12:1-4a

Responsoral psalm: 33:4-5,18-20, 22

Second reading: 2 Timothy 1:8b-10

Gospel: Matthew 17:1-9

By Jean Denton

The “mountain” where I recently experienced Jesus transfigured was actually a kitchen table.

My women’s faith sharing group meets only once a month and sometimes not even that often. But we’ve committed to stay together because we love each other and have a deep spiritual connection in which Jesus is always present.

Our last gathering began typically, sitting around Nancy’s kitchen table as women do, eating snacks and chatting about the latest happenings in our lives — catching up on each other’s families and situations.

Topics ranged from light to serious and even contentious: a son joining Cub Scouts, a child finishing an internship overseas, a joyful new marriage, a mother transitioning to assisted living, a prodigal daughter returning home — with a baby, a disabled granddaughter.

Since we hadn’t seen each other in a while, we had a lot to talk about, and we did talk — for nearly two hours. Finally, Nancy took out her Bible and said, “Well, shall we read something?”

Even for a group that was formed specifically to share and encourage each other in our Christian faith, it’s strange how hard it can be to change gears from superficial conversation to prayerful reflection and discernment.

But once we began reading aloud and listening to God’s word together, Jesus showed himself in a different, more powerful way. There was no shining light as Peter, James and John experienced in today’s Gospel. But we sensed Jesus speaking to us and realized that, just as God’s voice commanded the disciples, we must “listen to him.”

In Paul’s Second Letter to Timothy, he explains that we are called to a holy life, not by our own works, but through God’s design that will be fulfilled when we trust in his saving grace. Our group recognized this as we listened to Jesus’ words.

Now, all the goodness and concerns of our earlier conversations came back to us with deeper meaning as we reminded each other we must look to God’s grace to strengthen and enlighten us at every turn.

We finished our session in prayer. After the amen, someone commented on the brownies and the discussion lightened up. But Jesus had been transfigured there at the kitchen table and our hearts were newly alive with his grace.

QUESTIONS:

When have you experienced Christ in a new and different way? How was your relationship with him changed?

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