Lenten Reflections with Br. Michael Perras, ofm
St. Francis of Assisi composed a beautiful prayer entitled: The Praises of God. In this pray he prays: “You are love, charity; You are wisdom, You are humility… You are our hope… You are beauty, You are our eternal life.” These select lines from his prayer come from his heart as he heaps praises onto God. It is as if he can’t contain himself and must tell God all these great things God is for him.
This Second Week of Lent begins with powerful scriptures which invite us to also heap our praises onto God. With Abraham we can heap praise for the gift of courage, strength and trust. Where in our life has God been offering these gifts? With the Psalmist we can give praise for faith and life-giving places. How has our faith been steadied or challenged during this Lent? With St. Paul we join in praise for the gift of the Incarnation and the Cross for they are reminders our God is for us. We can ask ourselves the same question St. Paul did to the Romans, “Who can separate us from the love of Christ?” With Peter, James and John we can give praise for vision, transformation and hope. How are we being transformed by love and hope and given new vision this Lent?
The Transfiguration of Jesus has long been one of my favorite gospel stories. It isn’t about the dazzling clothes, it isn’t about Elijah and Moses appearing, it’s not even about this utopia of being on the mountain. It is always about the voice of God, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” These few words are not only praiseworthy, but they are also balm, encouragement and speak of the depth of “him (Christ) who loved us.” I can almost imagine St. Francis pouring out his praises to God as he considered the Transfiguration because his prayer speaks the words the disciples couldn’t find. I too give praise to God because this gospel reminds us the words of Jesus are truly what we need to listen too. In them we find answers to our questions, fears, and doubts. I also give praise to God because Jesus being beloved is then transferred to us as the children of God. Jesus is our sibling, so if he is beloved so are each of us. Each of us beloved because we are claimed by our God who is for us! As Lent Week Two unfolds spend time pondering the gift of being beloved and transformed by the love of God and give praise to our God being for us.
Lord God Living and True Guide our Lenten Steps This Week.
Photo Credit: Mayur Gala