Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory,
my understanding, and my entire will,
all that I have and possess.
You have given all to me.
To you, O Lord, I return it.
All is Yours, dispose of it wholly
according to your will.
Give me Your love and Your grace,
for this is sufficient for me.
Second Sunday of Lent: The Transfiguration (March 1, 2015)
The readings during the season of Lent are a great catechesis about Baptism. What does the transfiguration say about our baptism and Christian life? In the transfiguration the glory of God shines in Jesus’ humanity. Like Jesus, our own humanity is also called to be transfigured. However, what the final resurrection will one day fulfill in our flesh has already happened in our hearts: through baptism we share in God’s life and glory, and our lives are called to glorify God through our good deeds (Mt 5:16).
Thus, the transfiguration teaches about eternal life and the sharing in God’s glory. We can also find a deep connection between the transfiguration and religious life. St. John Paul II taught that religious life is an “icon of the transfigured Christ” (Vita Consecrata #14). As you know, the priests serving at Queen of Apostles are members of the religious institute “Disciples of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.” In addition, the Church is presently celebrating a “year of the consecrated life” that will finish on February 2, 2016. Therefore I would like to share some thoughts about religious life.
If baptism marks the beginning of a transfigured life imitating Jesus, those making a religious profession live this transfigured life deeply, sharing in God’s life and glory in a singular way. Religious life reminds us of the universal call to holiness and the power of God’s grace in our lives: “The first duty of the consecrated life is to make visible the marvels wrought by God in the frail humanity of those who are called. They bear witness to these marvels not so much in words as by the eloquent language of a transfigured life, capable of amazing the world” (Vita Consecrata #20).
The Church considers consecrated life as a precious gift. Through the practice of the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty, and obedience the religious consecrate themselves to God, loving Him above all things, becoming a sign to the world of the absolute primacy of God’s kingdom. This consecration springs from a unique awareness of Jesus’ love as a very personal and exclusive love. Jesus loves us in a way that asks us to respond with a love of a total and exclusive consecration to God.
During this year let us all give thanks for the gift of religious life and for the blessing of many vocations to religious life, especially from our families. Religious brothers and nuns remind us that Jesus’ love is personal and concrete for each one of us.