‘This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!’ (Mk. 9:7)
On the second Sunday in Lent we always read the Gospel of the Transfiguration of Our Lord. We do so in order that our focus may be directed towards the glory of Easter and Our Lord’s victory over sin and death by His glorious Resurrection. Our Lenten penance is not an end in itself but a means to an end; that cleansed of our faults and sanctified in both body and mind we might more fully appreciate and participate in God’s own glory. The word that Sacred Scripture most commonly uses to describe the nature of God is glory. We associate glory with power, majesty, radiance, awe and wonder. Yet, all the Gospels, especially the Gospel of John, speak of God’s humiliation as His exaltation, His glory. By faith, we are seized by the beauty and glory of the Crucified Christ. In this mystery of the Transfiguration a twofold glory is revealed: the glory which Our Lord possesses as the eternal Son of the Father and the glory that is manifested in His sacred Passion; the glory that is manifested from the unsurpassable torture of Holy Week. God Himself is whipped to blood, crowned with thorns, mocked, spat upon, ridiculed, nailed, pierced…In this consummate ugliness, this unspeakable outrage, shines a picture of divine beauty, of divine glory. The Gospel of the Transfiguration presents us with a vision of the glory of God on its way to the Passion (Cardinal Hans Urs Von Balthasar).
The glory revealed to Peter, James and John is a glimpse of the glory of the Resurrection, a glory that we too are destined to share; however, it is the Passion that leads to the glory of the Resurrection (Preface for the Second Sunday in Lent, The Roman Missal).