The Lenten Season challenges us to grow, love and be resilient, amidst the ups and downs of life. Christianity isn’t a promise of an ‘easy’ life, or a life without anguish and distress. Our faith is not a prosperity theology. Jesus is not saying we will not have struggles. Yes, we will have struggles, but our struggles will be manageable with God who reveals the pathway to a charitable life through humility and service. But we can gain a meaning, a purpose in the messiness of life. We see a glimpse of that grandeur today in today’s Gospel’s account of the Transfiguration.
The famous optical illusion depicting an old and young woman in the one sketch is an interesting example for us to contemplate over Lent. Depending on how we view the image – we can either see an old lady – hunched over, looking cold, tired, frail and wearing a shawl. Or, we can see a young lady, wearing a fur scarf, looking bashfully off into the distance. The two distinct images are hidden from the eye at first glance.
If we see our struggles as ends in themselves, then we will only see the image of the old frail woman, that can be a life of fear and isolation. However, if we see our struggles in the light of faith with the assurance of God’s love, promised to us in Christ, then we see the young optimistic woman about to go to a gala ball . . . or perhaps a day at the races!! Both images (the old lady and the young lady), co-exist. Christianity embraces these two realities, the ups and downs of life, always with a message of hope, that good times are coming for each of us in our faith journey with all of life’s ups and downs.