Each Lent the Church encourages us to do three ancient practices: prayer, fasting and almsgiving/charity.
Today\’s Gospel, the Transfiguration, focuses us on prayer. The glorification of Jesus before his apostles is meant to strengthen them for his coming Passion and Death. Prayer will also strengthen and calm us in the midst of our own trials and difficulties. This Christ-moment can teach us much about prayer and contemplation.
Contemplation is a spiritual, intellectual and emotional experience in which the apostles (and we) can receive insight into the depths of both Jesus\’ humanity and divinity. It is a prayer that is given to us. We do not earn it or make it happen. God takes the initiative and we respond.
The Transfiguration presents contemplation as a growing and transformative experience for everyone involved–Christ, Moses and Elijah received greater glory, the disciples greater insight and understanding. We, too, struggle and gradually grow in prayer. The Spirit increases charity in our prayerful hearts.
The disciples had a process of training, climbing the mountain, waiting for the manifestation of Christ\’s glory. This Lent is an opportunity for us to grow in our awareness of being active members of the Body of Christ through our greater efforts at prayer.