Thanks for joining me, this week we Lectio the Liturgy with the Collect for the Second Sunday of Lent.
O God, who have commanded us to listen to your beloved Son, be pleased, we pray, to nourish us inwardly by your word, that, with spiritual sight made pure, we may rejoice to behold your glory. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.
In the Gospel reading this week, we will hear account of the Transfiguration. Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up on a mountain. There they see Moses and Elijah. They hear the voice of God the Father and they see God’s glory manifest in Jesus. The prayer this week tells us how we can behold that same glory.
This prayer takes us on a journey of the senses in a way. First, the Who of the prayer reminds us that God has commanded us to listen to his beloved son.
Listen here doesn’t mean to just hear. It means to consider what has been said, or give attention to.
Next, in the petition of the prayer, the Do, we ask God to be pleased to nourish us. Nourish means to feed, maintain, or pasture us. Isn’t the thought of pasturing in the word of God an interesting thought. This morning, as I cantored at a funeral, the Responsorial Psalm was Psalm 23. Reflecting on that passage, I found that Psalm 23:2 also has a definition of nourish: he makes me lie in green pastures.
I thought about being nourished in the word, I thought about what it is like to read and to pray with scripture with the attitude of being lavish, even indulgent, to spend time in God’s word. I also thought about the member of our parish who is blind. He can’t go home and hold a bible and savor the words, but he listens to the scripture as if this may be the last time he will ever hear the word of God.
Next, notice the that the prayer talks about the two types of words from God. We are to give attention to the Word that is God, and we are to be nourished by the word of God. How do we hear the capital “w” Word from God? Sometimes it’s the small still voice inside us. Sometimes it’s in a song lyric or something someone says that grabs our attention. However, the place that we can always hear the Word that is God is in the word of God.
So often we think that the glory of God is something we only experience after we die. In our second reading this weekend, we hear in Philippians 3, that we, who have our citizenship in heaven have our thoughts not centered on earthly things, but on heavenly things, nourished with the word of God. When we spend time in the word, when we allow God’s word to sustain us, something happens. Our spiritual sight becomes clear, which allows us to behold the glory of God.
In 2 Corinthians 3:18, St. Paul tells us that God’s glory begins now. “All of us, gazing with unveiled face on the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, as from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
The unveiled face is translated from the Greek to mean to show in a mirror; to present a clear and correct image of a thing, or to reflect. We don’t become the image, we reflect the image, which is God’s glory.
The verb Paul chose is “are.” We are being transformed, or we are being transfigured, into the same image, the image of glory, the same image to which Jesus was changed. Cornelius a Lapide, a Jesuit priest and scripture scholar, writes, “How wise are they who gaze constantly into this mirror, and do all they can to conform their lives to it, and so are transformed into different men, into heavenly, angelic, and Divine beings!”
Lapide tells us that as the brilliance of Christ’s glory shone on Moses, Elijah and the Apostles, they were transfigured by it. In the same way, when our spiritual vision is clear, we not only see the glory of God, we reflect it and communicate it to others.
We need more glory reflectors in the world today! It all starts when we nourish ourselves in the word of God.
Lectio the Liturgy: Find 20 minutes this week to spend time in scripture. Go into it with the attitude of being indulgent, the kind of feeling that you have when you’re on vacation and having a large hot fudge sundae. Imagine that you’re in a green pasture, that a stream is nearby and open up your bible to the Gospel reading for the day. Notice how when we when we make time to get away with God, he always meets us there.
Thank you for praying with me,