Lent 2: Glory–revealing and Cross-carrying

In the past Lent has been surrounded with doom, gloom and pessimism about human failings. The new lectionary of readings has changed that. Funny enough, it was a restoration of readings used by the Early Church.
(Out of its vast treasury, the Church brings things old and things new).
However, it is true that human beings are frail and prone to make wrong decisions – but there is more, because we were created to have union and communion with God. Our frailty is that we cannot do it by ourselves and we need the forgiveness, love and grace of God to aid us. So, the Gospel reading about the Transfiguration of our Lord, shows us another dimension of our humanity – it is the possibility of participating in Divine glory.
In Christ, we find the one unique human being, Jesus of Nazareth the carpenter’s son, who is also the Son of God and God. His human uniqueness is that he has been tempted like us but not sinned. Unlike us, he is in constant awareness and communion with his heavenly Father – something we have not experienced. His vocation and mission is to repair that. In his Transfiguration we see what a human being should be in its original beauty. So, we are presented with a vision of our potential when we are willing to open up our personal being to God’s grace.
However, there is the damage we have collectively done to humanity. Sin is a reality that has impaired us. Not only our own personal failings but also the fact we were born into an impaired humanity. This impairment is called ‘original sin’. And we see it every night on the TV news. The corruption of leaders of Russia, North Korea and Syria. The bloody work of terrorists. The murderers and abusers of innocent children. These sins are concrete and real and they are repeated and perpetuated by successive generation.
Who can enter humanity and remove this hideous mess and restore us back to the glory? This is what Incarnation means – God entering all of this to fix it from within. Human beings need a new choice and a possibility to lay hold of a new beginning.
The Cross-carrying Christ enters into the totality of human failure to destroy sin and death and it power to govern us and, to lay hold of his life and make it our own. We are required to surrender our wills and faulty thinking into his hands. The Cross-carrying Christ is the one who is also the Glory-sharing Christ. In him we see that human suffering is not the totality of our existence and that we can become the Children of Glory – Children of God.