Second Sunday of Lent
Reading: Matthew 17:1-9 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them and from the cloud a voice said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved, with him I am well pleased; listen to him! When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Get up and do not be afraid.’ And when they looked up they saw no one except Jesus alone.
In this scripture passage, we see that Jesus wished to spend some special time alone with his closest friends. He takes them to a high mountain where they will be able to spend time in prayer, enjoy each other’s company and speak of the important things in their lives. Traditionally, mountains were places of prayer and new revelations of the will of God; (Exodus 3:1-12) Mountains were holy places and people were consecrated to God on a mountain; (Exodus 19:14)
When Jesus and the disciples embark on this sacred pilgrimage they do not know the hidden gifts that God the Father has in store for them. Imagine the disciples surprise and delight when ‘he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white.’ It must have taken their breath away to be in the presence of such great beauty and they must have wondered what they had done to share in such a sacred moment. Next came the appearance of Moses and Elijah and a conversation began between them and Jesus. The Old Testament holy men encountered the fulfilment of the prophecies in the person of Jesus on this holy mountain. It was a time of great intimacy for all; an intimacy that Peter acknowledged in his words, ‘Lord it is good for us to be here;’ He wished to savour the presence of such holiness by building tents for Moses, Elijah and Jesus but God the Father had other plans for the encounter that was to take place that day. He reveals himself and shares the delight that he has in his Son in the words, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved, with him I am well pleased; listen to him!’
The fear of the disciples is understandable but Jesus wishes to allay their fears by saying, ‘Get up and do not be afraid.’ When they arise from the ground, they see only Jesus.
During this time of Lent, Jesus invites us to step aside from the busyness of our lives to spend time in prayer and deeper intimacy with him. He wishes to reveal more and more of himself to us and to reassure us of how special we are to him. He asks us to listen deeply to him in the scriptures and the events of our lives and not to be afraid. We are not to be distracted by things that draw us away from God but to focus our minds and hearts on him and his word. Like the disciples, we are asked to ‘look to Jesus.’ (Hebrews 12:2) for in him ‘there is fullness of joy.’(Psalm 16:11)
You invite me to go up to the mountains to be with you; to enter into a deeper level of intimacy in the cave of my heart; may I see your face engraved on the soil of my soul; may my eyes be opened that I may ‘see only Jesus´ Amen.