Dn 7:9-10, 13-14
2 Pt 1:16-19
Mk 9:2-10

In the Eyes of the Beholder
In the gospel of Mark 9:2-10 we join the disciples Peter, James, and John as they wander up the mountain with Jesus. They seem to be expecting some quiet time with Jesus and in the midst of the quiet, Jesus is transfigured before them. Not only does this happen, but unexpected visitors show up…not just any visitors but the holy men, Elijah and Moses. Next the voice of God speaks directly to the gathered to acknowledge Jesus as His beloved Son. And then in the next breath Moses and Elijah are gone and Jesus is telling his disciples to tell no one about what they have witnessed until the “Son of Man has risen.” All of this is hard to imagine! God’s huge presence showing up in the here and now.

I wonder how often we miss the opportunity to encounter the unexpected presence of God in our lives? Even though I am a chaplain, I can’t say that I begin each day of work thinking that I am going to encounter the transfigured Jesus, the appearance of Moses and Elijah, or the voice of God speaking out in day light.

Today I had an opportunity to visit with several patients. It struck me that out of the eight patients that I saw, two of them talked about people who had cared for them had been in prison. In both cases, the patients talked compassionately about how important it is to give people another chance. Both had good things to say about their care givers. As I listened to them, I wondered if I would have the same amount of trust to give another human another chance to allow their gifts to be as known as their past histories. What happened in these patients’ lives that allowed them to see in these two care givers a new present and future? It is as if they (in the name of God) said to their caregivers, “Behold, here is my son, my daughter in whom I am well pleased.”

Today, I am challenged to be transformed by their examples, to be aware of opportunities in my life to bear witness to the transfiguration of people in my life.

Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother 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.