Second Sunday of Lent: Transfiguring Tangriness

Transfiguring Tangriness

BY MAUREEN O’CONNELL, PH.D. | March 13, 2022
Today’s Readings
Reflexión en Español

Today’s Gospel makes me wonder if Jesus ever got tangry. That’s my word for the kind of frustration I feel when sensing that my busyness isn’t amounting to much. I feel tired from managing all of my bottomless to do lists. And I feel angry when I suddenly notice that my lists are in fact managing me and we’re not headed in the direction I want to go. Tangry. It’s a frustration I feel in my body. The wheels in my stomach start spinning. Nagging questions about my self-worth tighten my shoulders. My breath gets shallow as the walls of my lungs start to close in. 

Transfiguring Tangriness
Surely, Jesus’ humanity—not to mention the human context he was immersed in and the human beings he was surrounded by—ensures that he got tangry. So how did He make this embodied experience holy? 

Luke’s account of the Transfiguration provides a few concrete action steps. Step out of your busy routine and get your body outside. Move your body to a place where you can feel as close to God as possible. Then pray. Pray that God, from who you can never be separated, helps you reconnect to God’s purpose for you. Pray that God puts you in conversation with your Moses—the parts of you created and chosen by God to join God in the ongoing holy work of repairing the world. Pray that God puts you in conversation with your Elijah—the parts of you that give you holy courage to name, for yourself and others, when priorities are not aligned with God. Converse with these holy parts of yourself—the likeness of God in you—about your desire to be released from the tangriness so you can rejoin what the time management and creativity gurus call flow, deep work, big magic.

For Reflection:

  • How can you make time—or where can you make space—to reconnect with your God-given purpose and courage this Lent?
  • Imagine conversation among you, Jesus, Moses and Elijah. Where would it happen? What would you four talk about? What would that conversation feel like? What in you might be transfigured?
4 replies
  1. Dr Eileen Quinn Knight
    Dr Eileen Quinn Knight says:

    Being in the prayer with Moses and Elijah, I would ask them for a blessing on my work and prayer. I would ask them to tell me about the Jesus in their lives and how He assisted them in dealing with situations that bring them to tangry and what they do to alleviate that preoccupation with limits of God’s goodness. I would bathe in their goodness and ask for the wisdom that they have so the work and prayer that I do brings about a world filled with His love and grace. I would continue to block the moments of tangry and restlessness and bring the peace that the world needs. I would ask Jesus to embrace us in this peace and help us to see clearly His wisdom and strength.

  2. Ann Anesta
    Ann Anesta says:

    Tangry is such a perfect term (& one I had not heard before this reflection) to describe this feeling. I too am tangry & will take Dr Campbell’s suggestions to try to ameliorate this feeling in my life. Thanks for putting how I’m feeling into a term that makes sense.

  3. sonja
    sonja says:

    I especially resonated with “the parts of you created and chosen by God to join God in the ongoing holy work of repairing the world”. Strange as it may seem. I get in touch with this part of me best, when I’m driving long distances in my car. My car is my prayer chapel, which I discovered after NZ closed our churches.
    Repairing our world depends on sharing our love. It also reminded me to make time to play my harp more to help bring peace in our world. Enforced restrictions of freedom and imposed social isolation long term has increased the domestic violence erupting within our families and which seizes upon opportunites to erupt into violence in society on our streets. Caught up in busyness, I have been remiss in not playing my harp and sending out peaceful vibrations into our universe. May I make time today.

  4. Dr.Cajetan Coelho
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    Thanks Maureen for this thought-provoking and action-initiating consideration. Moses and Elijah are still relevant in our time.


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