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Transform Us As You Transfigured: A Reflection for the Second Sunday of Lent

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by Ann Marie Castleman | March 10, 2017

Transform Us As You Transfigured:
A Reflection for the Second Sunday of Lent
by Ann Marie Castleman

March 12, 2017: Genesis 12:1-4a; Psalm 33; 2 Timothy 1:8b-10; Matthew 17:1-9

Transform us as you transfigured. Such are the words of Sylvia Dunstan in the hymn “Transform Us” that my choir and I practiced for this Sunday’s Mass. To be honest, I’ve never really understood the Transfiguration (and I was a theology major!)  I understand what Matthew 17:1-9 tells us; how Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James and John; how this foretold that Jesus was the Son of God, but I never really GOT what it means for us during Lent….until Sylvia helped enlighten me.

A quick Google search of the word “transfigure” defines it as “to transform into something more beautiful or elevated.” Well, in that case I get why the Transfiguration is pretty pivotal during Lent as we try to change ourselves for the better in anticipation of being born again in Christ at Easter.

I have to be honest. These last few years have been pretty busy with life. Between work, family, exercise, a social life, etc. Lent has been a part of the liturgical year and that was pretty much the extent of it for me. Sure, I fasted, prayed, and maybe even attended the Way of the Cross a time or two, but I haven’t been serious about seeing Lent as a time to transform myself. This year, for some reason, was different. Maybe it’s because the weather has been unseasonably warm and is throwing off more than just the flowering crabapple tree in my backyard. Whatever the reason, at the beginning of Lent this year I took a long, hard look at myself and picked out an area that I saw was producing a lot of angst in my life: my relationship with my boss. I reflected a lot on our different workstyles, educational backgrounds, personalities and ways of communicating, and I realized that all the tension and angst that our relationship produced for me was only because I gave it so much importance. The things that I criticized or disagreed with were issues that were important only to me; if I simply stopped being so stubborn, I might actually find that these differences could co-exist, and that I might actually learn a thing or two from them. Coming to this realization has only been the beginning, albeit however huge. I still have a long way to go (luckily we still have a lot of Lent left!), but I’m confident that if I continue to give this transformation the importance it deserves then not only will I feel less angst, but I’ll truly grow and blossom. Just like the crabapple tree that transfigured from a sculpture of brown sticks to a dazzling flowery beauty. Transform us as you transfigured.

 

Image: Crabapples by TumblingRun, found on Flicker under a Creative Commons License.

Author information Ann Marie Castleman

Ann Marie Castleman was a 2009 Catholics on Call participant. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from Xavier University and a Master of Public Health from the University of Minnesota. Working to support healthcare initiatives in Managua, Nicaragua for about two years, she now lives and works in Kansas City, Missouri.

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