Second Sunday of Lent
March 17, 2019
Last week, it was the Spirit Who led Jesus into the desert. This week, Jesus is in the lead. He takes three of His most trusted and intimate friends with Him as He climbs to the top of a mountain. We know what happened there. The Lord was transfigured before them. What better way to prove to them that The Word…God’s Word made flesh…was near them?
On this Second Sunday of Lent, we are called to be “armchair mountain climbers.” The same Spirit that led Jesus into the desert guides us to a comfortable chair, good lighting, carrying only our Bible. The same Lord, Who picked three special friends to share a spectacular prayer experience with, invites us along as well.
Freeing ourselves from things that might distract or disturb us, we join Peter, James, and John as privileged witnesses to a preview of Easter glory. If we take full advantage of the opportunity, and truly enter the story, like Peter, we can enjoy a glimpse of the Glorified Lord. However, unlike Peter, what we see does not frighten us. We understand what Transfiguration means. We know what it means to be raised from the dead.
Watching Jesus communicate with Moses and Elijah, we come to understand that all that was promised by God in the Old Testament is fulfilled in Christ. This dramatic event was an extraordinary way for the Creator to describe what awaits those who believe. Implicit in this mountaintop encounter is God’s assurance of forgiveness.
The Transfiguration is reminiscent of another mountaintop encounter. At Exodus 34, we hear about The Almighty communicating with Moses. What was spoken there is again communicated in today’s Gospel. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
This passage reveals much to us about God as we consider the reaction of the three to what they observed. Through their fear and confusion, we are reminded about the fragile human condition. It isn’t always easy for us to understand, or to believe, or to follow. But The Word …God’s Word made flesh…is near us…our strength and our hope.
And now it’s time to get up from our armchairs and make our way down from the mountaintop and back to our busy lives…eager to share what we have seen and heard.