- Jesus took Peter, John, and James and went up the mountain to pray. While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem.
Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep, but becoming fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him.
As they were about to part from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here; let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
But he did not know what he was saying.
While he was still speaking, a cloud came and cast a shadow over them,
and they became frightened when they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”
After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone.They fell silent and did not at that time tell anyone what they had seen.(Lk9:28-36). Taken from today’s gospel for Sunday wk 2 of Lent.
- The first reading and the gospel convey one central message namely: God does not want us to follow him with doubt. He wants us to be sure of whom we are following. He wants us to know that he is worth our sacrifices. In the first reading(Gen 15), he promised Abraham descendants and inheritance.
Abraham doubted and asked God: How will I know that I will possess the things you just promised me. God did not get angry with him. He came down to his level and asked him to prepare the materials with which the people of that time enter into covenant to assure themselves of the sincerity of their relationship. He entered into covenant with Abraham by passing through the dead animals of the covenant. In this way God assured him that he cannot break his words or he will suffer the same fate as the animals. In this way God convinced him that he is worth trusting.
- The first reading serves as the hermeneutic key for understanding the gospel. Jesus has been talking of the kingdom of God to his disciples. He then announced his impending death on the cross. Peter reacted strongly telling him that such could never happen to him. He rebuked Peter. From that moment the disciples began to have doubt about the viability of their giving their life to Jesus. Jesus knew this and wanted them to follow him with conviction.
Consequently he picked the three members of the inner caucus of the apostolic college with him to Mt Tabor. In their presence he began to pray and as he prayed his appearance changed. Then two ancient personalities appeared to him to discuss his passion and death, the very thing that he announced to his disciples which caused them to begin doubting his authenticity.
- When the disciples saw this, Peter exclaimed:Lord it is good for us to be here. Let us make three tents, one for you, one for Elijah and one for Moses. Without much words, Peter and his companions realized that trusting Jesus, getting committed to him is the best thing that can happen to any person.
To confirm their thoughts a voice from heaven resounded and told them that Jesus is the beloved son of God and should be listened to. The voice confirmed the intention of Jesus in taking them to the mountain: he wants them to be convinced of his identity.
- It is worthy of note that the transfiguration of Jesus occured in the context of prayer and discussion of his passion. It is when we are hooked up intensely with God that the best in us can be manifested. It is also in the moments of trials and acceptance of hard will of God that we shine out.
Trials are meant not to destroy us but to make us stronger. The transfiguration is therefore meant to communicate three messages to the disciples, namely that Christ is worthy of our trust, prayer transforms not only situations but people and difficulties when accepted as the will of God also bring transformation.
- The world’s situation of wars, insecurity, impunity and arrogance of the privileged class have sown doubts in many minds concerning what we have learnt about God. The silence of God before the prosperity of the wicked has not been helpful to sustaining the faith of many today. Because iniquity has abound, the love of many has grown cold. You are not the first to experience such doubt. Abraham did and so did the apostles of Jesus. Like them assure yourself that the God of Abraham, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ that you are serving today is trustworthy.
You can still trust him for he never changes. You can trust Jesus and his teaching because he is the only person that died and resurrected as he said he would. Make him your unshakable rock of reference in all your joys and difficulties. @Vita, 13/03/22.