Genesis 22:1-2, 9-13, 15-18
Ps 116:10, 15-19
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark.
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;
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.
Good News Reflection:
Think of a “mountaintop experience” you’ve had. What was the peak moment of that? What generated it? What did it mean for you? Did it change your life forever or was it just a momentary high?
In Biblical symbolism, a mountain represents getting close to God. Did your mountaintop experience bring you closer to God?
It was at the top of Mount Tabor where Jesus revealed the glory of his Godliness to his closest friends. Called a “high mountain” in scripture, Mount Tabor is, in reality, not huge. What was huge is the event that took place there — and why.
Some of the most significant moments in our spiritual lives might not have felt like a mountaintop experience, but indeed they were.
The three disciples who witnessed Christ’s transfiguration greatly benefited from seeing his glory revealed, because someday they would be commissioned to take over his earthly ministry.
The Father told them, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” As we listen to Jesus, it is we who are now transfigured.
Lent is meant to be a mountaintop experience for each of us. If we follow Jesus up the mountain, his light will consume any darkness within us.
The more we listen to his teachings and apply them to our daily lives and ministries, the more we become like him. And the more we become like Jesus, the more our lives are transfigured by his light, and the more our lives then transfigure the world around us.
As the first reading tells us, Abraham did not withhold his son from the Lord, just like God the Father did not withhold his Son from us.
Likewise, we are faithful to the responsibilities of Christian living if we do not withhold the Son from the people we encounter. Whether it’s through an evangelizing word or a helping hand, or a compassionate and attentive ear, or the generous giving of mercy and forgiveness or money or time, we are Christ’s hands and feet and voice in the world today. We are his earthly body. We are the answers to people’s prayers.
We have been empowered through our baptisms to shine with the glory of Christ’s love. We have all been commissioned to continue his earthly ministry. May the experience of Lent take us to new heights of union with Christ and his mission!
Questions for Personal Reflection:
Identify one area of your life that you would like Jesus to transfigure. What do you need to do to repent of it? How do you need to change (with God’s help) so that others see more of Jesus?
Questions for Community Faith Sharing:
Share the story of a time when you let Jesus change you. How difficult was it to be transfigured? Why did you want to make the change? How did it impact others?
Thank you for the moments of joy in the midst of trials, Lord! Those are the moments that strengthen me and transform me every day, so that I become more like You and less like me. Amen.
© 2018 by Terry A. Modica