2nd Sunday Reflections: Year C- Re. Thomas Athian Lual


A Lenten Season Reflection by Rev. Thomas Athian Lual, SJ

Our Gospel this Sunday comes from St. Luke (9: 28b -36), in which we are told that Jesus takes some of his disciples away from the noise and business of everyday life and takes them up a mountain. This is unusual in itself, because we know from the gospels that Jesus often goes to the mountain top to pray alone. While they are on the mountain, something very strange and unusual happens. Jesus’ clothes are changed in a very dramatic way; he is transformed beyond all recognition, his face shines like the sun and his clothes become dazzling white as the blazing light. Suddenly, two great prophets, Moses and Elijah, appear and are talking to Jesus. The spontaneous words from the Apostle Peter are his proclamation prayer, “Lord, it is wonderful for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah”.  Which one of us would not wish to hold on to the moment of ecstasy, the moment of beauty and the moment of revelation like the apostles? Is it not when this transfiguration is realized that we are removed from the turmoil of everyday living?

 As we continue to make our way through this Lenten season, let us do and imitate what the voice of God says to each one of us, “this is my son, my chosen; listen to him”. And this is the hope in which we are asked to have faith as we make our way through Lent. When we are tempted to give up and give in, let us look to Jesus changed and transformed, that we may see in him the promised future, not only at Easter but in the fullness of God’s Kingdom. 

 As we embark in our Lenten Journey, Jesus Christ continues his own journey towards Jerusalem, during which he is aware of what he will be facing there. Jesus will be betrayed, denied, condemned and crucified on the cross. Conceivably, Jesus feels and senses the fear and anxiety from his disciples and he wants to reassure them to remain steadfast in their faith. He gives them a glimpse of the shape of things to come; he is revealed to them in all his glory. This brief glimpse of Jesus in all his glory is also meant for us today.

 Like the disciples of Jesus, we too may experience fear, doubt and lack of faith in God. We too must ask for the grace to be strengthened by Jesus Christ, especially as we continue our journey of faith. We too need to know that our fasting, our prayer and sharing the little we have with the needy and the sick is not an end in itself or done in vain but is for the greater glory of God. We are heading towards the resurrection of the new life of Easter, but we still have a distance to go. Let Jesus’ transformation offer each one of us a taste of what lies ahead. If we share in the suffering and passion of Jesus, we will also share in his glorious resurrection.

Rev. Deacon Thomas Athian Lual, SJ, a member of Eastern Africa Province (AOR) from Wau, South Sudan, is currently serving as a Chaplain of Loyola High School in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  Athian’s reflection comes from the Gospel of St. Luke (9:28 – 36) and the theme is Transformation and Change.