Second Sunday of Lent
February 25, 2018
Mark 9, 2-10
After six days, Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared to them, along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, "Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified. Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; then from the cloud came a voice, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him!" Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them.
As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant.
TEMPTED last week, TRANSFIGURED today! Last week we saw in the temptation of Jesus how our own faith and convictions are always put to test. Today, the transfiguration of Jesus shows us the glory that awaits those who listen to God. As with the First Sunday of Lent which always presents the story of the temptations of Jesus, the Second Sunday of Lent always relates the transfiguration story.
THE TRANSFIGURATION OF JESUS. While the temptation in the desert demonstrates the human condition of Jesus, the transfiguration story clarifies his divinity. The Gospel narrates that from a cloud came a voice: "This is my beloved Son." Just like in the baptism of Jesus at the Jordan River, the voice of the Father affirms the sonship of Jesus. Here, the Father presents Jesus as his Son, confirms his mission, and tells everybody: "Listen to Him!"
THE DISCIPLES' EXPERIENCE OF THE TRANSFIGURATION. For the disciples,the transfiguration of Jesus was an intense spiritual experience. They saw Jesus transfigured. They heard the voice of the Father. That experience had a profound impact on them and that also signified a very important moment in their following of Jesus. In fact, the disciples needed that experience. Earlier on, Jesus told them that He had to suffer, die and rise on the third day. That announcement by Jesus left them confused and discouraged. But that experience on a high mountain gave them a new perspective, a renewed strength, and a foretaste of Jesus' victory over death.
OUR EXPERIENCE OF THE TRANSFIGURATION. Just like the disciples, we also need profound spiritual experiences. We need to feel God's presence in our lives. We need God's blessings and graces. We need God's forgiveness. In fact, we are called to live out that experience of the disciples by listening to God in prayer, by contemplating the Word of God, by nourishing our life through the Eucharist. We need moments of transfiguration so that with renewed strength, we can "come down from the mountain" and go on in this "valley of tears.
As there are always moments of temptations, so we also need moments of transfiguration. TEMPTED we always are, "TRANSFIGURED" we should always be.
by Fr. Jose Honorio Mateo, SVD