March 8, 2020: Second Sunday of Lent
Reading: Matthew 17:1-9
After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 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 in reply, “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.”
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 the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and do not be afraid.” And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone.
As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, “Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
Lent is a journey to the great sorrow of Calvary but it is also a journey beyond that to the Resurrection. Peter, James and John were given a foretaste of the glory to come in the vision of Jesus transfigured. They made a physical effort to reach the mountaintop but that would have been forgotten as they were overwhelmed by the vision of the dazzling figure before them. It was a glimpse of something they never could have imagined. As it was a struggle to climb the mountain, there will be struggles and pain ahead for Jesus and great sorrow for those who love and follow him.
We too struggle dealing with the challenges of life. We need to take to heart the words the apostles heard, “This is my beloved Son…listen to him.” In listening we will find the grace and strength to persevere.
No matter how hectic and over scheduled our lives may be, it is important to have quiet time. If you haven’t before, make an effort during Lent to set aside a few minutes each day to clear your mind of all thoughts and sit quietly. If you can take a longer time, begin by slowly reading a bit of scripture. Then sit quietly or journal any thoughts the scripture selection may have brought to mind.