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February 28, 2021: Second Sunday of Lent

Reading: Mark 9:2-10

Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.

Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them.

As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant.

This framed Richard Olsen puzzle depicts Helen’s image from Psalm 73. It hangs in her living room.


The disciples stood on the mountain with Jesus. Jesus’ appearance changed before their eyes. Suddenly, prophets were there conversing with Jesus. Then, God the Father proclaimed, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to Him.” That day, the disciples had learned that Jesus was the Son of God.

The humanity of the disciples stands in contrast to the divinity of Jesus. Peter is babbling about what to do. Instead of asking Jesus what He meant by “rising from the dead,” the disciples fall back to argue among themselves.

One example to help us understand the disciples’ experience is the “Oh moment.” Think of a time where suddenly you knew the truth. Things rearrange themselves to fall into the correct place in your understanding. The new understanding calls you to a new way of living. Suddenly you know fear as you wonder what it all means.

What did the disciples see in their fear? “Suddenly, Jesus was alone with them.” It is the same with us. Jesus is always with us. As we stumble along, trying to make changes in our life, Jesus will always be there guiding and supporting us each step of the way.

Unlike the disciples that day, when we don’t understand what it means or where we are going, instead of debating one another, let’s just ask Jesus in prayer.


The psalmist tells God, “Nevertheless I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand” (Psalm 73:23). Imagine or find an image of that. The next time you feel lost, remember that image.

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Helen Flavin

Helen Flavin is a Providence Associate. She is a Catholic scientist, educator and writer. Helen received her Ph.D. in Neurochemistry from Boston College. She is a fulltime science teacher. She is a guest columnist for her Diocese’s Catholic Newspaper “The Anchor.” She enjoys volunteering at the local nursing home.

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