Second Sunday of Lent 2016...how are YOU doing with your Lenten practices? If you feel you can do better, take a deep breath and start again...just like a diet, every week, every day of Lent offers us new opportunities to pray, to care for others, to sacrifice. I am trying to take Francis' words to heart, his invitation to fast from indifference and feast on love. At least once a day, so far, I try to remember kindness in some interaction. I may not get it right all the time, but if I'm trying for one act of kindness daily, that's something.
So, I know we will all reflect this weekend on the Gospel of the transfiguration. A powerful story for sure. But when I took the time to look at the readings today, I was captivated by the first line of the Genesis reading: "Look up at the sky and count the stars if you can. Just so, shall your descendants be." The Lord, promising Abram that he will always keep his word.
Look up at the heavens and count the stars.
On a clear night that can take your breath away.
If the stars are our reminders of how much God loves us...wow, are we ever blessed. It's incredible to think about. As huge as the universe is, God cares for me. For you. As for our part of the covenant, we are simply to love God back and keep his commands. That's not to say that any of it is easy, but it is pretty straight forward. I love that Lent is my opportunity to tithe my time back to God. Fr. Tony said this past weekend that Lent is 1/10th of the year...so surely I can tithe one tenth of the year back to God in prayer and good works, in a covenant of love.
The Transfiguration must have been amazing. That they didn't have heart attacks up on the mountain after what they witnessed! How hard it was for them to come back down the mountain, yet here in the valleys and plains, in the city streets, this is where ordinary time, ordinary life, ordinary people live. This is where most of us find God, if we remember to look. We spend most of our time here. If we waiting for those mountaintop moments...well, they're few and far between, how would we sustain our faith?
My prayer for us is that we can take those tiny stars in the heavens and let them be our daily signs every evening of the faithfulness of our loving God. He will never fail us.