Mardi Gras trash pickup (Photo Credit: Wikipedia-Commons)

Yesterday, we concluded the season of Epiphany while bathed in divine splendor.  Tomorrow, many will celebrate “Fat Tuesday” and “Carnivale” in comparable brilliance.  The excess of these Mardi Gras festivities to be concluded in the coming days stand in stark contrast to the next phase of this spiritual journey God onto which God has invited us.

As we move from the season of Epiphany into the solemnity of Lent, we reflect on the profound transitions in our spiritual lives. Mark’s account of the Transfiguration offers a poignant starting point. On the mountain, Jesus revealed his divine glory to Peter, James, and John. In that moment of revelation, they witnessed the fullness of Christ’s majesty, enveloped in the radiant presence of God.

Yet, this dazzling encounter was just a prelude to the trials ahead. Jesus knew what lay ahead: the path of suffering and sacrifice. As he descended the mountain, he embarked on the journey towards Jerusalem, where he would ultimately give his life for the redemption of humanity.

In Mark 9:30-37, we find Jesus teaching his disciples about humility and service. He contrasts the values of the world with the kingdom of God, where greatness is found in servanthood. This lesson is a crucial bridge between Epiphany and Lent, reminding us that true transformation comes not through worldly power or acclaim, but through selfless love and sacrifice.

As we transition from the revelation of Epiphany to the repentance of Lent, let’s heed Jesus’ call to take up our crosses and follow him. Let’s humble ourselves, serving others with love and compassion, just as Jesus did. In this season of reflection and preparation, may we be transformed by the grace of God, drawing closer to the heart of Christ with each step of our journey.

May God’s peace find you today. -Pastor Peter

Let us pray… Gracious God, as we transition from Epiphany’s brilliance to Lent’s penitence, grant us humility and servant hearts, following Jesus’ example in love. Amen.