Second Sunday of Lent

Readings: Gn 12: 1-4 / Ps 33: 4-5, 18-22 / 2 Tm 1: 8-10 /Mt 17: 1-9

In today’s readings, Matthew describes the transfiguration, the moment when Peter, James and John see Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus on the high mountain and hear God say “This is my Son … Listen to Him.”  This scene painted by Matthew highlights the awe of being in the presence of God.  Additionally, Timothy tells us that grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus.   

Being in the presence of God is not always easy.  The tasks “required” in our lives make being in the presence of God difficult.  The PINGs emanating from our Smartphones, BlackBerrys, iPads, laptops, and desktops inundate the foreground of our lives to remind us of the ever pressing tasks requiring our attention.  PING – Meeting reminder, PING – urgent email, PING – pick up child #1 from soccer practice, PING – pick up child #2 from ballet, PING –  report due, PING – dentist appointment, PING – conference call, PING-PING-PING, the next thing you know it’s PING – Ash Wednesday.  It’s time to give up something.  Should it be snacks or desserts this year? 

This Lent, let’s not give up something; let’s not even give of our talents to others … let’s take heed of the readings and give something to ourselves.  PING - be in the presence of God.  How great would it be to see that message pop up on your Outlook reminder?  As we do in other aspects of our lives, we need to schedule time for important events.  Time for reflection, in the presence of God, is time worth scheduling. 

God speaks to us every day; we just need to transform ourselves into better listeners in order to hear His voice.  I will suggest some locations that have worked for me in over the course of years at Villanova: Corr Chapel, Villanova Campus Church, or the St. Thomas Chapel in the monastery.  We are fortunate that these beautiful sanctuaries are open to our community.  I have found that 15 minutes of quiet time spent in one of these locations energizes me for the remainder of the day.  This time has helped me become a better listener.  

Christian Lupus, an Augustinian historian from the 1600’s notes that adoration has been around since the time of St. Augustine. Adoration of the Eucharist is an amazing opportunity for being in the presence of God and reflection.  Adoration is available in the monastery chapel every Monday Wednesday and Friday from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and in Corr Chapel on Monday from 7:00 - 8:00 pm.

Whether your reflection time is during adoration, a brief respite in a Villanova chapel, or at your parish church, the important thing is to schedule time this Lenten season for being in the presence of God.  Transform your listening skills to better hear the most important voice in your life.  As God told Peter, James, and John, “Listen to Him.”

David Dinehart
Civil and Environmental Engineering