Gospel Reflection: Second Sunday of Lent
Malvern Minute

 

SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT

FEBRUARY 21, 2016

Glory and praise to you Lord, Jesus Christ

One does not live on bread alone,

But on every word that comes from the mouth of God

Glory and praise to you Lord, Jesus Christ

 

The Gospel of Saint Luke 9: 28b-36

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.

The Gospel of the Lord

 

REFLECTION

On first hearing or reading today’s Gospel about the Transfiguration in the life of Jesus, most people would wonder how this event has anything to do with them.  Most can understand that the Transfiguration is a powerful demonstration that Jesus is truly divine because the Father says: This is my chosen Son; listen to him.  But, since we are not divine, we could wonder how the Transfiguration would have any relevance to us and our lives.   And yet, the fact that each of the four Gospels records this event demonstrates that the Transfiguration is very important!  But the question remains: if it is important to us, how does it connect to my life and yours.

While Jesus is praying, His face brightens and His clothing becomes dazzling white.   Jesus is assumed into God, and in turn the disciples are drawn into this religious experience of Jesus – this Divine Encounter.  Jesus is approaching his exodus that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem.  The Exodus of Jesus is the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ – His humility, suffering and death.  One can conclude that like the episode in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Transfiguration is a moment of decision for Jesus to press on to Jerusalem and to the Cross.  In the midst of Jesus’ prayer and contemplation of the Cross, the Faithful Father comes to affirm and strengthen his Son.  The Son will suffer, but will never be alone; the Son will die, but He will rise; the Son will sacrifice Himself, and the Father will raise Him up!

In turn, the Transfiguration is a significant moment for the disciples as well.  Soon they will see their master and Lord put to death.  The Passion and Death of Jesus will shake their faith, and their hope in Jesus as the Messiah will be crushed.  Lent is the most appropriate time to consider the Transfiguration because Lent is a time of challenge and decision for us as well.  Lent is a time of temptation (the three temptations of last week), and Lent is a time of choosing between the Cross of Jesus and the things of the world, as it was for Jesus in this Gospel.

On each and every Sunday, we accompany Jesus up the mountain of Holy Mass so that He might be transfigured before us in the Word and Eucharist, so that the Cloud of God can cast a shadow over us.   We too acknowledge like the disciples of old: Master, it is good that we are here.  Of course it is good because the celebration of the Mass is the Exodus of Jesus, the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus.   It is through the celebration of the Eucharist, most especially that we are strengthened to make our way to our own Jerusalem and embrace our own cross.

The Transfiguration was very important in the life of Jesus; the Transfiguration is very important in our lives as well.  The Transfiguration is not a one time event.  The Transfiguration is God’s blessing and gift for His people so that as they carry their crosses and go to their places of sacrifice they will never forget that the Faithful Father will come to affirm and strengthen His daughters and sons.

The more deeply we penetrate the Pascal Mystery and immerse ourselves into the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, the more we embrace our crosses and are willing to suffer for our brothers and sisters, the more the Transfiguration becomes relevant and a source of strength and life for us.  In prayer, at the Eucharist most especially and at other times, the Faithful Father is anxious to transform us by His transfiguring power.  Go with Jesus up the mountain of prayer and let Jesus be transfigured before you as God who loves you and accompanies you because you embrace His Cross!

WE BELIEVE, AND THEREFORE SPEAK (2 Corinthians 4:13)

REJOICE & WITNESS

Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat.  See our website for details: MalvernRetreat.com

 

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