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Second Sunday of Lent: The Transfiguration of ChristAre we human beings "good" or "bad?" The answer is both. We have the potential for great righteousness and great evil, but most of us live somewhere in-between. If we are going to make the season of Lent a time of "sharing who we are," what is it that we share?

Lent is a penitential season and the Lenten color, purple, signifies repentance. However, the season becomes distorted if we see it only as repentance. Many people give up something for Lent, a favorite food or luxury, but what good is "giving up," if we do not also "give to?" We need to add something.

Let's look at both of these. We do need to give up, get rid of those things that make our lives less than their best. We need to turn ourselves around at times, for we are fallible and often make misjudgments, pursuing wrong or inadequate goals. Should we be sorry and repent at times? Yes! But what parent would want a child to constantly be lamenting his or her failings and endlessly saying, "I'm sorry?" Parents and God seek a rewarding life, a productive life for those we love.

Lent calls us to find our genuine, whole selves. In the process we turn away from those things that are counterproductive or unworthy, but we seek primarily to turn toward what has true value. Who are you really? What could you become, with God's guidance? There is a lot of good in everyone, often more than we give them credit for. We all have within us the seeds that can prodce beautiful growth.

Getting to know who we are — self-discovery — is a good thing to add to our Lenten obervance. The objective is not to draw up a balance sheet of the good and bad within us. It is rather an effort to "ac-cent-thu-ate the positive and e-lim-in-ate the negative." We are called to be all that we are able to be as God's children.