FEBRUARY 28. LENT. WK. 2. SUN. MK. 9. 2-10
Updated: Aug 24
Jesus took with him Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone by themselves. There in their presence he was transfigured: his clothes became dazzlingly white, whiter than any earthly bleacher could make them. Elijah appeared to them with Moses; and they were talking with Jesus. Then Peter spoke to Jesus: ‘Rabbi,’ he said ‘it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ He did not know what to say; they were so frightened. And a cloud came, covering them in shadow; and there came a voice from the cloud, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him.’ Then suddenly, when they looked round, they saw no one with them any more but only Jesus.
As they came down from the mountain he warned them to tell no one what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They observed the warning faithfully, though among themselves they discussed what ‘rising from the dead’ could mean.
The Transfiguration is a lesson for all of us as to how God treats those who are genuinely striving to follow him, with Peter, James and John being representative of such souls!
God is acknowledging here the enormous Faith required if souls are to imitate his Son and embrace their own God-given Passion and Death while on this earth!
They may not have to endure being nailed to a wooden Cross, but they certainly will have to endure significant sufferings, which is why Faith plays such an important role for Christians.
The Transfiguration was God’s way of deepening the Faith of Peter, James, and John for the trials, and test of their Faith, that lay ahead; - when they had to observe Christ being crucified!
This event would certainly test their Faith, as they believed Jesus to be the Son of God, and they were aware of his intention to found a “Kingdom” on earth which he was to rule over!
The events of Calvary did not fit in with this scenario, and it was going to require of these key disciples a very strong Faith in order to continue to believe after Calvary!
An interesting observation is to note the first reading of this Sunday’s Liturgy; - which deals with Abraham being asked to sacrifice his only son; - who was destined to lead God’s People.
But people of Faith are never left alone to endure their God-given sufferings as they would be unable to persevere if this was the case. They are also “comforted on their journey!”
And this is what we are witnessing in today’s reading where the leaders of the Church were “strengthened” to bear what Christ knew lay ahead; - an event that would seem a disaster!
This is characteristic of how God deals with people of Faith! He always provides times when they experience his intimate love and closeness in order to sustain both their Faith and Love!
People of Faith are always conscious of the fact they are not alone and that God is with them!
“Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him” (John 14.23)
Gospel Acclamation Matthew 17:5
Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ!
From the shining cloud the Father’s voice is heard:
this is my beloved Son, hear him.
Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ!
First reading Genesis 22:1-2,9-13,15-18 · The sacrifice of Abraham, Father in faith
God put Abraham to the test. ‘Abraham, Abraham’ he called. ‘Here I am’ he replied. ‘Take your son,’ God said ‘your only child Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There you shall offer him as a burnt offering, on a mountain I will point out to you.’
When they arrived at the place God had pointed out to him, Abraham built an altar there, and arranged the wood. Then he bound his son Isaac and put him on the altar on top of the wood. Abraham stretched out his hand and seized the knife to kill his son.
But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven. ‘Abraham, Abraham’ he said. ‘I am here’ he replied. ‘Do not raise your hand against the boy’ the angel said. ‘Do not harm him, for now I know you fear God. You have not refused me your son, your only son.’ Then looking up, Abraham saw a ram caught by its horns in a bush. Abraham took the ram and offered it as a burnt-offering in place of his son.
The angel of the Lord called Abraham a second time from heaven. ‘I swear by my own self – it is the Lord who speaks – because you have done this, because you have not refused me your son, your only son, I will shower blessings on you, I will make your descendants as many as the stars of heaven and the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants shall gain possession of the gates of their enemies. All the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by your descendants, as a reward for your obedience.’