Recently, a TV programme was speaking of a survey among a large sample of women. The findings were quite amazing. The report showed that in the group of women who had been part of the survey, every one of them, yes, every single one of them, would have liked to change something in their appearance. Given the opportunity – and the money – each woman would have wished her appearance to be different. They were not afflicted with serious birth defects, or ugly scars, or any disfiguring attribute, yet they would have liked to see themselves, and to be seen, in a different way.
Is it any wonder that it has been published that “The revenue of the U.S. cosmetic industry is estimated to amount to about 62.46 billion U.S. dollars in 2016” (Statista, The Statistics Portal)? I had to read this more than once to let the meaning of the words sink in my mind!
Beautifying oneself, it seems that this is what everyone wants to achieve. And… this is what the gospel (Lk.9:28-36) and the text of the 2nd reading (Ph.3:20 – 4: 1) are about on this 2nd Sunday of Lent (Year C). Beautifying oneself… with a difference – the difference being that it is the Lord who will be doing the ‘beautifying’. Paul assures the Philippians – and it is valid for us as well: “The Lord Jesus Christ will transfigure these wretched bodies of ours into copies of his glorious body.”
The gospel gives us a glimpse of Jesus glorious body. Our own bodies will have a share in this glory, a beauty no longer depending on meticulous operations to add this and remove that element of our appearance. Really? Really! Because the beauty will emerge from within. It will have been slowly ‘fashion’ by the Great Artist – the Spirit. We will no longer be subjected to suffering and pain, no longer submitted to beauty tips, face lifts, and the likes.
It happens that we speak words, we make statements, without much thinking. The words come to our lips without our minds giving much thought to them. This may be the case for what we say every time we recite the Creed. Sentence after sentence is pronounced, and we come to the words: “I believe in the resurrection of the body…” Do we? Absolutely? Without reservation or doubt? If so, the most wonderful beautifying is already in the making!
Source: Images: zafotolia.com fotosearch.com www.christianquotes.info