The Glory of the Transfigured Crucified
As far back as our liturgical sources take us, we find the Church beginning Lent with the Gospels of Jesus’ Temptation in the desert and his Transfiguration on the mountain.
Hence Christians’ Lenten experience replicates the God-guided experience of the people of Israel: their forty days of journeying in the desert, which tested their fidelity, and the community-founding theophany at Sinai which endowed them with the Torah of grace.
But for Christians the pillar of fire and the life-sustaining manna, the covenant and the promise are all recapitulated in Christ. The spiritual élan of Israel’s faith, the intimations and pre-figurations of its