Lent 2022


Lent 2022: Moments

 StarsA Reflection for the Second Sunday of Lent

Occasionally we encounter moments – tiny perforations of the world’s ordinary fabric – when God feels more real than ever before. For just an instant, everything seems whole. The moment is so holy, so good, that we might be tempted to cling to it. Anxiety begins to creep back in; we don’t want to lose that nearness of God.

In today’s Gospel from Luke, Peter feels this panic. Alongside James and John, he watched in total awe as Jesus was transfigured before him in a stunning display of God’s glory. But just as quickly as it came, Peter felt the moment slipping away. As they were about to part from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here; let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” Afraid of having to leave the mountaintop, Peter wants to pitch a tent and dwell in only this moment.

But at once a cloud appears and casts a deep, terrifying shadow over them. Out of the darkness, they hear a voice: “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.” The cloud vanished, and again they saw Jesus, sitting peacefully and alone as before.

A wise Jesuit once taught me that life is a journey made up of consolations and desolations, peaks and valleys, hope and despair. There are some moments we cling to, and some we fear experiencing at all. You don’t need me to remind you that recently, it has felt like the peaks are low and few while the valleys are deep and long. We have no choice but to move forward; the challenge is to be able to move forward by putting our faith in God.

When I am deep in a period of despair, and the world seems to be filled with more and more darkness, I look up at the night sky and try to find just one star. That star, millions of miles away, burning with all its might through space and time and clouds and pollution, is to me the promise of the Father to his people. The Lord God took Abram outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can. Just so,” he added, “shall your descendants be” (Genesis 15:5). And Abram put his faith in the Lord. I imagine it’s that faith that sustained Abram when, a few lines later, “a deep, terrifying darkness enveloped him.” But it was precisely in that darkness that God made a covenant with Abram. I hope that this Lent, in the deep darkness as on the mountaintop, we open ourselves to trust more deeply in God’s ever-abiding love.

Katie Rich GRD '22

Katie Rich is a Yale Divinity School student working toward her Master of Divinity degree.