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Gospel reflection

February 25, 2024: Second Sunday of Lent

Gospel: 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.


“I believed, even when I said, ‘I am greatly afflicted.’” In the first verse of today’s psalm, the writer seems to say that s/he believed despite illness, pain, suffering, or something … faith in God isn’t shaken by the troubles of life. For me, when the day isn’t going well, it’s sometimes easy to forget that I’m not in this alone. My view of the world around me narrows quickly to my concerns and what I need to do about them. However, if I step back, I can see things more clearly and approach the issues more prudently.

Today’s gospel, though, is about the transfiguration, not about steadfast faith on a bad day or when we’re not feeling like we can manage more than our own existence. Perhaps the point of putting these texts together is that Jesus is giving us a miraculous example of going beyond ourselves. The transfiguration, a sign that Jesus is the epitome of the Law of Moses and the Prophets, is Jesus also telling his disciples (including us) to go further, beyond ourselves, beyond what we know and feel comfortable with; to do so, sometimes we need to step back.

Abraham was asked to step back in our first reading. Abraham was called to sacrifice the son he had longed for into old age, and from the reading, we might get the impression that he was on board with God’s request. Closer reading suggests Abraham was nervous and hesitant, but he trusted God was up to something he didn’t quite understand. (Child sacrifice was common in Abraham’s day, and the God of Love is making a dramatic point about giving life rather than taking it. These horrid sacrifices were to stop.)

Like Abraham, the disciples who witnessed the transfiguration were puzzled by what was taking place, but they knew Jesus hadn’t led them wrong yet. We read that “they kept the matter to themselves, questioning …”.  I think the psalmist is telling us we don’t have to have all the answers, but we need to trust and keep faith in what we do know. Paul’s letter to the Romans says that if we’re sticking with God, ultimately, we can handle anything. Saint Mother Theodore sums it up this way: “The way is not yet clear; grope along slowly” and “Have confidence in the Providence which so far has never failed us.”


What puzzles or concerns you following the path of Providence? Talk with a friend or journal about it and see what new light might be revealed.

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Brad Crites

Brad Crites

Brad Crites is a Providence Associate and former webmaster and adjunct faculty member at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. He specializes in teaching and learning as well as organizational culture and change dynamics. He is committed to philanthropy and community development as a Lilly Scholar Alumnus. He currently works for Purdue University as an Educational Technology Consultant. Brad lives with his wife, Tiffany, and their children, Brooklyn and Brett, on their historic family farm near Solsberry, Indiana.

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  1. Avatar Deb Griffey on February 22, 2024 at 12:59 pm

    Thank you, Brad, for this reflection. It is certainly pertinent in our time.

  2. Avatar Connie SP on February 25, 2024 at 2:07 pm

    Thanks Brad for this honest, inspiring reflection.

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