The last Sunday after Epiphany brings before us the Transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain. The liturgy reminds us of our true nature in Christ and looks toward the glory of Easter just as we are about to begin our Lenten journey. After this Sunday we refrain from singing “Alleluia” until we arrive at Easter. Nevertheless, the vision of the transfigured Christ is to sustain us even we may wonder whether risen life will be a hope fulfilled for us. The disciples who witnessed the Transfiguration fell to the ground, overcome with fear. Jesus breaks the spell. “Get up. Do not be afraid.” Get up and get living. This life of holiness is real.

In his second letter to the Corinthians the Apostle stated boldly that because in Christ we are being transformed “from one degree of glory to another” (3:18), we have “renounced the shameful things that one hides” (4:2). What does this renunciation entail? If we are to keep our part of the covenant which has Christ’s body and blood as its signs, we must abhor all bloodshed. That, after all, is why he died at the hands of senseless men: to bring an end to blind hate that thinks it can solve anything by destroying human life.

Do we keep our part of the covenant? We do not. We support wars without a murmur. We let our children be turned into killers and wonder why they go berserk when they come home. We invest millions in weapons of destruction, selling them to regimes that do not hesitate to inflict massive violence on their own citizen – all in the name of jobs.

No, we do not keep our part of the covenant. We love the spirit that destroyed Jesus. And it destroys us.

The call to covenant-renewal in Lent is clean contrary to war-making, racism, and hatred. Let us not only repent. Let us know how alienated we Christians are called to be from the prevailing demons of violence and division that afflict our brothers and sisters throughout the world, for whom there is great grief and constant pain in our hearts.