Sister Roberta Smith

“Jesus took Peter, James and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light.” (Matt.17:1)

And so begins the Gospel reading for the second Sunday in Lent. Lent is a season of grace and a renewed opportunity to see life through a more precise lens, the lens of light. If you ever had cataract surgery, you know what I’m talking about… after surgery, objects, faces and scenery have a much sharper focus and colors are more vibrant. God’s grace is like cataract surgery! What once was blurry and a tad gray, gives way to new vision. Our vision is transfigured and we in turn, are much more alive to the light of life surrounding us.

Many years ago, I was working in a New York City parish where I was invited to bring Communion to an elderly, bedridden woman. She was a retired teacher and still lived in her own Westside apartment not far from the parish church. I was told she was very deaf so I was prepared for limited conversation with her. What I wasn’t prepared for was her response to receiving the host, the body of Christ — her face was illuminated with a light that was truly holy! She radiated peace, deep joy and expansive happiness. To this very day, I have never forgotten this great grace that I witnessed in Molly’s apartment. Truly, “her face shone like the sun’!

So, let this Lent be different for you. Let this holy season of graces help you to recognize the many points of light in your life and fill you with joy and recognition that God is present and surrounding us in the light of love. May we radiate God’s light to others by our prayer, actions and sacrifices. We need to rely on the power of God within us.

Do we want to “Look for the Light this Lent”? Then let’s check out the suggestions of Pope Francis regarding fasting:

Fast from hurting words and say kind words

Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude

Fast from anger and be filled with patience

Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope

Fast from worries and trust God

Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity

Fast from pressures and be prayerful

Fast from bitterness and fill your heart with joy

Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others

Fast from grudges and be reconciled

Fast from words and be silent so you can listen.