In the years that I have been at Marquette we have seen a series of mass shootings in the Milwaukee area. A church service in Brookfield, the Seek Temple in Oak Creek, a spa in Brookfield. Sadly, there was another shooting on Ash Wednesday at the Molson-Coors facility.
The fact is, we live in a crazy world and we need to spend some time in prayer asking God to help us bring an end to the violence and dangers that confront us in this world, in our cities, even here on our own campus. It is time for a change.
Just look at the change that took place in this week’s gospel. We heard the story of the Transfiguration of Jesus. But I believe the more important change that takes place is the transfiguration, or transformation that takes place in the disciples. They come to the realization that Jesus is really the Son of God.
We must be transformed as we journey through Lent. We are called to walk, maybe run, away and leave our sinfulness behind. Our sinfulness. The sinfulness of our world. Each step we take is an opportunity for transformation in our lives. And it is only by starting with the transformation of our own life that we can even begin to change and face the problems in the world around us. Think about the words when we received ashes on Ash Wednesday. Turn away from sin.
Lent is a reminder for us to prepare for what is coming. Whether we choose to give up something for Lent, or to give something for Lent, we are reminding ourselves of our sinfulness and our need for forgiveness. We are preparing ourselves to walk these days with Jesus. It is our Exodus from sinfulness. It is our Passover to a new life. It is our Way of the Cross with Jesus. This journey not only takes us to Holy Week to share in the death of Jesus, but by God’s promise, we share in Jesus’ resurrection.
As spring approaches let this new season be a time of transformation. Of transfiguration. Of blossoming. Let this be a time when we reevaluate who we are and what we are about. What is important to us? What do we value? What would we be willing to die for? This is what defines us as Christians.
As the sunshine gets a little higher in the sky and the days get longer, let us allow ourselves to see the dazzling light of Christ that shines on us. See it reflected in the faces of the people around you in your classes, in your residence halls, in your home, at your workplace.
Most important, feel that warmth and light in your hearts and know that the Son of God is present in us, and with us.