February 28, 2010
Second Sunday of Lent
About eight days after he said this, Jesus took Peter, John, and James and went up the mountain to pray. While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem. Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep, but becoming fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As they were about to part from him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good that we are here; let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." But he did not know what he was saying. While he was still speaking, a cloud came and cast a shadow over them, and they became frightened when they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, "This is my chosen Son; listen to him." After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. They fell silent and did not at that time tell anyone what they had seen.
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I come to you with great confidence, seeking to bask under your rejuvenating light. During this time of Lent I wish to leave aside the old man and become more like you.
Petition: Lord, grant me the grace to encounter you more intimately.
1. The Arduous Climb, but with Christ
The apostles Peter, James and John felt privileged that day. The Master has chosen them alone to accompany him up Mt. Tabor. The farther up the mountain they go, the more their attention is centered on Christ. They have already forgotten about the other apostles. They wonder when the Lord will stop, where he is taking them, what is the purpose of their journey. They do not understand, but they have learned to trust him and have followed him ever since he called them. He has always shown himself to be true, and so Peter, James and John stand firmly in their trust in him. This is a great lesson for us, too. We need to learn to follow Christ wherever he leads us. Although at times the going is tough and obstacles seem to be everywhere barring our path, like Peter, James and John we know for certain that the Lord is with us.
2. Living in the Light
They reach the summit of the mountain. The Lord begins to pray. The apostles are tired out with the climb, and although they try to pray, they soon fall fast asleep. Then the sound of voices invades their sleep, and they feel a bright light on their closed eyes. Waking up, they are overawed at what they see. Before them is the Master in his Glory. At his side stand Moses and Elijah, conversing with him in an unmistakable attitude of respect. He is dazzlingly white, almost too bright for their eyes. It is their Lord and Master. They are filled with the greatest joy. They are overcome by their experience of Christ in his glory. Peter says what comes to his mind—that he wants to remain there always. He has not fully understood, but he has grasped that to be with Christ, to live in the light of the Master, is to live in joy.
3. The Father’s Revelation of the Son
Moses and Elijah appear in glory. They bear witness that their mission, and that of all those sent by God throughout the centuries of Israel’s history, was a preparation for the coming of Christ. They spoke in veiled language, in symbolic language, and though they perceived a Messiah would come, they did not fully know him. They did not know that he would be God’s only Son, born of a woman. Now the veil has been removed. The New Covenant is proclaimed by the Son himself. He speaks to the world as the Son of the Father. And it is the Father who calls on the apostles to listen to his Son, his beloved Son. Let us ask for the grace to listen to Christ. Let us ask for the grace to pick up the Gospel with renewed simplicity, with a generous and open heart, with faith and confidence in God, that we might hear the words of the Son of God.
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, you so loved us that you came to show us the way to live our lives in the truth. You, the Eternal Word of the Father, lead us on the path of holiness. Do not let us grow weary, especially when the path is difficult. Give us your strength to stay the course.
Resolution: Today I’ll take up the Gospel and read a passage from it, exercising my faith in it as God’s own word, full of light and truth.
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