Second Sunday of Lent, March 8: Experience and belief, a Sunday Scriptures blog

Consider these examples: You start learning a language; you learn to say “that is delicious” — but you can’t say how you really experience the wonderful food because you don’t have the words. Or you have a life-changing experience, like falling in love, but it isn’t until you hear a love song that you hear words to express what that feels like. Words, concepts are always catching up to our experiences.

On this second week of Lent,  a Jesus in dazzling clothes appears to Peter, James and John, and a heavenly voice proclaims, This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased, hear him. We call this story “the transfiguration” because something is happening to Jesus, but really the focus should be on the “something” that is happening to his disciples. It is a profound something. Peter, James and John were experiencing Jesus as THE LORD. They were experiencing him as much “more than” their beloved, familiar Jewish Rabbi, Jesus of Nazareth. Notice that many people who saw and heard Jesus did not become believers. Experiencing THE LORD, especially the risen LORD, became the basis for the faith of  the first Christians. Experiencing THE LORD motivated that early Christian community to search for the words it needed to express its belief in Jesus’ divinity. The point? All the words in our very wordy Catholicism can’t give us faith unless we ourselves experience THE LORD. Personal experience of THE LORD is the foundation of our faith. And for a faith that lasts until we die, we need to stay in touch with, and keep pondering, those experiences. Today recall your experiences of THE LORD.

– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia

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