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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Second Sunday of Lent

Today we have Matthew's Gospel of the Transfiguration. "Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother and led them up a high mountain by themselves."

We know that Jesus often went off to a mountain to pray alone. This time he invites his closest friends to go with him. He led them up this steep mountain. Jesus always goes before us and we follow. He invites us today, during this Lent, to follow him up the mountain. It is not easy to climb a mountain and maybe we need to get fit spiritually during this time of Lent to be able to reach the top.

"And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, "Lord it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here; one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."

Peter is so overwhelmed that he does not think; he just wants them all to stay and knows that it is good for them to be there. However, "while he was still speaking, behold a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him."

When they heard this, they were afraid and fell prostrate but Jesus came and touched them and said, "Rise, and do not be afraid." And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone.

They do not really understand, but they must have felt awed and grateful for the experience. I wonder if they also hoped that God would say to them one day, "This is my beloved in whom I am well pleased" And the command to "Listen to him" must have made an impression. Jesus tells them as they descend the mountain not to tell anyone about this until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.

The Transfiguration is a mystery that gives hope and courage. It comes at a good time to help strengthen us for our Lenten journey. Let us make more effort to really listen to Jesus!

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