Franciscan Spirit Blog

Lent with St. Francis: Ordinary and Extraordinary

Second Sunday of Lent

Year A: Genesis 12:1–4a; Psalm 33:4–5, 18–19, 20, 22; 2 Timothy 1:8–10; Matthew 17:1–9
Year B: Genesis 22:1–2, 9a, 10–13, 15–18; Psalm 116:10, 15, 16–17, 18–19; Romans 8:31b–34;
Mark 9:2–10
Year C: Genesis 15:5–12, 17–18; Psalm 27:1, 7–8a, 8b–9, 13–14; Philippians 3:17—4:1; Luke 9:28b–36

“And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white.”
—Luke 9:29


The transfiguration was an extraordinary moment. Such moments don’t happen very often. But when they do, they change everything.

Perhaps the greatest experience of Francis’s life took place on Mount La Verna. Having prayed long and hard to share in the sufferings of Christ crucified, he had a vision of a six-winged seraph and of Jesus on the cross. He received the marks of the nails in his hands and feet, as well as the gash left by the spear that pierced Jesus’s side. But he was careful to keep the wounds hidden. Francis didn’t want to call attention to his experience in a way that would sensationalize it. Francis understood that the essential message of living a Gospel life was to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.

For most of us, the extraordinary experiences are hidden in something quite ordinary. A job opportunity takes us someplace we never imagined we would be, and our experiences there change us immeasurably. Or we meet someone who brings us to a completely new awareness of the power of faith in our everyday activities. We don’t need to go looking for extraordinary, mountaintop experiences.


Prayer

We are all poor sinners and unworthy even to mention
your name, and so we beg our Lord Jesus Christ, your
beloved Son, in whom you are well pleased (Matthew 17:5)…;
there is never anything lacking in him to
accomplish your will, and it is through him that you
have done so much for us. Amen.


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