We are now a full week plus into our observance of the grace-filled season of Lent as we celebrate the Second Sunday of Lent. In Ordinary Time, the Collect (Opening Prayer) for each Sunday is prayed at Masses throughout that week. During Lent, however, each weekday Mass has its own Collect. The Collect for the Second Sunday of Lent asks for spiritual nourishment and spiritual sight:
O God, who have command us
to listen to your beloved Son,
be pleased, we pray,
to nourish us inwardly by your word,
that, with spiritual sight made pure,
we may rejoice to behold your glory.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.
On every Second Sunday of Lent, the Gospel reading is the Transfiguration of Jesus before the eyes of the Peter, James, and John. Therefore, the Collect on the Second Sunday of Lent begins by echoing the voice of God the Father at the Transfiguration: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him” (Matthew 17:5; Cf. Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35).
We then pray that the word of God will nourish us inwardly. We are indeed spiritually nourished by the word of God—the scriptures. Jesus himself is the incarnate Word of God, who nourishes us with his own Body and Blood in the Eucharist. In the Eucharist, the glory of God is hidden behind the sacramental signs of ordinary bread and wine, just like the glory of God was hidden in the ordinary appearance of Jesus in his human nature. We pray for clarity and purity of spiritual sight so that we can behold the glory hidden in the Eucharist here on earth, but also the glory of God face-to-face in heaven, the same glory which the three apostles were privileged to glance very briefly in the Transfiguration of Jesus.
It is easy for us to be blind to the glory of God, because our sins and the sins of the world around us prevent us from seeing with spiritual sight. Take this Collect to prayer with you this week and pray for purification of your spiritual sight this Lent, so that you can behold glimpses of God’s glory in this world, and the fulness of God’s glory in the next.
God bless you,