This Sunday, as we continue to make our way through the season of Lent, the church gives us the biblical account of the Transfiguration of the Lord Jesus. It’s an account that’s heard on the Second Sunday of every Lent, since the church, after recalling the struggles in the desert last weekend, reminds us of the glory that awaits those who love God.

As we reflect upon the glory of God, we are directed to our baptism and the life of grace that was initiated by the sacrament.

In baptism, we are led through the Lord’s own Paschal Mystery. By the will of the Father and the work of the Holy Spirit, we relive in our souls the Lord’s own Passion, Death, and Resurrection by dying to ourselves, accepting the crosses of the fallen world, and being regenerated—reborn—in Jesus Christ as a new creation.

In holy Baptism, we are purified of our sins, consecrated in Jesus Christ, and restored to sanctifying grace, namely, to a familial relationship with God as our Father. As members of the human race who were separated from our Father, baptism is our homecoming celebration. In Baptism, we are adopted and restored to the house of our Father. We were dead, but now brought back to life.

As Pope Francis teaches us: “By virtue of the Holy Spirit, baptism immerses us in the death and resurrection of the Lord, drowning the old man — dominated by the sin that divides us from God — in the baptismal font and giving birth to the new man, recreated in Jesus. In Him, all the sons of Adam are called to new life.”

In holy Baptism, as we re-live the Paschal Mystery, we are given sanctifying grace. The very grace lost by our first parents is now redeemed and given to us by the saving work of Jesus Christ. By this grace, we are made partakers of the divine nature and sharers in eternal life. We were in darkness, but now dwell in God’s own wonderful light.

The knowledge of faith is possible only in the Holy Spirit: to be in touch with Christ, we must first have been touched by the Holy Spirit. He comes to meet us and kindles faith in us. By virtue of our Baptism, the first sacrament of the faith, the Holy Spirit in the Church communicates to us, intimately and personally, the life that originates in the Father and the Son.

The restoration of sanctifying grace cannot be overestimated. This is the actual filial relationship that was lost in the Garden of Eden. This powerful grace, this relationship of son and daughter to God, is restored to us—with infinitely greater blessings—in Jesus Christ. The presence of sanctifying grace gives birth to the supernatural life in our souls. It is the beginning and the root of the life of God within us.

Unless it is lost by grave sin, sanctifying grace remains in our souls. Sanctifying grace introduces us to the intimacy of the Holy Trinity. It is the grace that helps us to know our worth and dignity in God, and which shows us our sonship to the Father. It is the grace by which we are made a new creation and restored to the likeness of our Father. For this reason, ascetical theology also calls sanctifying grace deifying grace, since it is the grace which makes us “like God” in Jesus Christ.

For these reasons, Pope Francis calls baptism “the door that permits Christ the Lord to make His dwelling in us and allows us to immerse ourselves in His mystery.”

Having grasped the immense gift of sanctifying— deifying—grace in holy baptism, we can begin to see glimpses of the glory that God desires to share with us. This is the glory that is revealed to us today in the Transfiguration. It is the glory that God wishes to share with all his children.

Follow Father Jeffrey Kirby on Twitter: @fatherkirby