(2nd Sunday of Lent: Genesis 15:5-18; Philippians 3:17—4:1; Luke 9:28-36)
Who among us would be so bold as to hold herself or himself up as a model of Christian faith and life? Yet that is what Paul does in the second reading. “Join with others in being imitators of me, and observe those who thus conduct themselves according to the model you have in us.”
This is not boasting, but an honest declaration of Paul’s dedication to Christ and the Church. He was keenly aware of having been chosen, privileged.
Abram, in the first reading, and Peter, James and John, in the Gospel, were singled out for special blessings. Abram received God’s promise and covenant; the disciples saw and heard wondrous things.
Others might have wondered, why them and not me? But Abram and the disciples could rightly ask, why me and not someone else? The Scriptures do not provide an answer.
At La Salette, why Maximin, why Mélanie, and not persons more suited to the task ahead? In our La Salette world, why you, why us?
Those who truly experience God’s presence are transfigured, sometimes suddenly, but more often gradually. We see this in the lives of many saints. Maybe you have seen it in people you know. Have you never thought in their presence, “It is good that we are here”?
How did they reach this state? Very likely, their transfiguration was intertwined with conversion, as they responded to the command from heaven, echoed at La Salette, “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”
God took Abram outside to show him the stars. Jesus took Peter, James and John and went up the mountain to pray and reveal his glory before his final journey to Jerusalem.
The Beautiful Lady, revealed in light, attracts people first to herself, but ultimately to Jesus. She wants to transform pitiable sinners into saints washed clean in the blood of the lamb.
In the place of Abram or the three disciples, what promises would we hear, what wonders might we see? Not all of us will become models for others to imitate, but some may well do so. Why not you?
Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.