Lent is an opportunity for us to transform our lives

Published Mar 11, 2017 at 4:00pm

Matthew 17-:1-9

We are awash in calls for change — to transform our political parties, transform our relationship with other nations, change our eating habits, and other sorts of transformations.

Lent is a season of change, a season of transforming our spiritual lives, a time of spiritual transfigurations. Our natural inclinations are to avoid the effort. Transformation requires energetic effort. It challenges and disturbs our comfortable patterns of behavior.

The episode in the Gospel of Matthew occurred just prior to the time Jesus was to enter Jerusalem, and there suffer his passion and death. He knows the trauma his apostles are about to experience so he gives them a preview of his ultimate transfiguration.

Isaac Newton, one of the greatest scientists of all time, famously formulated his universal laws of motion. His first law of motion tells us that an object at rest stays at rest, and that an object in motion stays in motion. While that is true in the world of physics, we know that psychologically we all experience procrastination, laziness and resistance to change.

We want to stay at rest.

Jesus had to deal with this same tendency in his apostles. Jesus knew he apostles need to see the ultimate outcome that would follow after all of the suffering they and Jesus were about to face in Jerusalem.

Transformation is not easy.

It costs.

And so we have the yearly season of lent. We all know that Lent is more than simply having ashes placed on our foreheads. Entering Lent, we made resolutions to take specific actions, such as reading spiritual books, increasing our times of prayer, performing acts of charity, and other actions that involve making some change in our lives.

All of these involve movement toward one form or another of transformation — of transfiguration.

An object at rest tends to stay at rest, whereas an object in motion tends to stay in motion.

The church challenges us to move, to change, and to get out of our comfort zones.

Peter wanted to hunker down in three tents. He was resisting movement and change.

I can recognize myself in his attitude. I know a thing or two about staying in my comfort zone — about procrastination and resistance. That is why I need Lent. And that is why I need to keep in mind Easter and the resurrection toward which we are all journeying.

This is only the second Sunday of Lent. Many more days of Lent lie ahead of us. Let’s keep in mind the ultimate outcome that is presented to us in the Gospel of Matthew. Let’s you and I move, knowing that a body in motion tends to stay in motion.

I invite you to come and pray with us at a Lenten Mission beginning at 7 p.m. Monday, March 20, in St. Peter’s Church. It continues on Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 p.m.

May many blessings be yours during this special season of Lent. A time for you with our blessed Lord!