The second week of Lent is upon us. By now, we should have gotten into the rhythm of our Lenten routine of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. As St. Paul notes in the second reading, “Our citizenship is in heaven.” Everything we do should emanate from that belief. What we do as Christians flows from our ultimate goal in life: eternal life with God.
That is why the Transfiguration is such an important part of our Gospel literature. In that experience, Jesus offered his disciples a foretaste of the glory toward which they were headed. When the Church fathers included it in our canon of Scripture, they wanted us to remember that heavenly glory is our calling as well. When Peter notes that “it is good for us to be here,” he recognizes that the best place any of us can be is with the Lord.
As we continue our Lenten journey of faith, may each of us live in the presence of the Lord. May our actions reflect our relationship with God and may each of us grow in the Word of God during these forty days.
During Lent, I have introduced three reverential practices during our liturgies. First, you are invited to bow during the recitation of the Confiteor (“I Confess…) and the Kyrie (“Lord, have mercy). These are penitential prayers asking God for mercy. As such, we should adopt a more humble stance before the Lord, especially during Lent. Second, during the recitation of the Creed, there is a rubric (“instruction”) which reads, “At the words that follow, up to and including and became man, all bow.” So, we should be bowing during this line of the Creed: “and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.” Third, since we do not have kneelers, I would invite you to bow during the Consecration as a sign of reverence for the Transubstantiation that is occurring at that moment. Basically, the bow should happen from the epiclesis (the calling down of the Holy Spirit) through the elevation of the chalice. Please follow the lead of Deacon Glenn in this regard.
On Thursday of this week, our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, will resign the papacy and return to a life of prayer and contemplation. Please continue to pray for him as he transitions into a new life experience. Pray for the Cardinals who will gather in Conclave to elect a new spiritual leader. Also pray for the Church that during the interregnum the Holy Spirit may continue to enliven and strengthen each of us so that we may be open to God’s will and listen to the voice of Jesus, His Chosen One.