Sunday, March 8, 2009
Second Sunday of Lent-
Let us look first at the Preface for the Second Sunday of Lent.
"Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord.
On you holy mountain he revealed himself in glory in the presence of his disciples. He had already prepared them for his approaching death. He wanted to teach them through the Law and the Prophets that the promised Christ had first to suffer and so come to the glory of his resurrection.
In our unending joy we echo on earth the song of the angels in heaven as they praise your glory for ever: Holy, holy..."
Here we see suggested the reason that Jesus took Peter, James, and John with him. We are also being prepared for the approaching death of Jesus and the whole Paschal Mystery.
The readings were given on Thursday and we have spoken about the Gospel of the Transfiguration recently. Still, it is a great mystery and worth contemplating again. Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. They followed him. It may have been a beautiful day and they loved being with Jesus and so happily followed him up the mountain; they may also have been tired, hot, dusty and wishing Jesus would stop and let them rest. We do not know what they were feeling, but they were following Jesus up the mountain.
Then Mark tells us, "And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white..." Mark is at a loss to describe how Jesus looked when transfigured, but does tell us about his clothes which became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. The Apostles are astonished for Elijah and Moses appeared to them and they were conversing with Jesus. We do not know what they were talking about, but Peter speaks up and wants to make three tents for them. Then comes the cloud and from the cloud a voice, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him." And then they saw no one but Jesus alone with them. It was an experience that they never forgot and Peter will write about it later. For now, Jesus does not want them to tell anyone until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.
Let us go up on the mountain with Jesus and let us listen to him. That is what prayer is all about. We listen to Jesus; we stay with him; we follow him.