The telling of the Jesus’ miraculous transfiguration always is proclaimed on the Second Sunday of Lent. This year we hear Matthew’ account of the story.
The Gospel Reading depicts Jesus’ glorious transfiguration happening after having explained to his disciples that He was departing for Jerusalem to suffer and die.
NO PITCHING A TENT
As Jesus approaches his suffering and death, the journey to Jerusalem is marked by an unexpected glorious moment (Matthew 17:1-9). Taking three disciples with him to the top of a mountain, Jesus is transfigured before their eyes. The description of the miraculous occurrence comes from the language Jews were using to speak of the appearance of the Messiah at the end of time (v. 2).
Atop Mount Sinai, Jesus appears as the glorious Messiah.
The disciple witness even more. Suddenly Moses and Elijah appear in conversation with Jesus (v. 3). The prophets and the Law and Jesus are beautifully blended into one. The disciples find themselves at the fulcrum of salvation history. The Law established a sacred and irrevocable covenant with God’s Chosen People. The prophets continually called the people back to covenant fidelity and constancy. Both the Law and the prophets looked forward to God’s final act in His dramatic rescue mission.
The disciples are witnesses to this intervention.
A crisis emerges when the disciples prefer stopping God’s plan. Peter suggests raising three tents in order to preserve this moment of truth for all to behold (v. 4). However, If the disciples are to understand all that is happening in and through Jesus, they must listen to His voice (v. 5).
So must we listen to God’s voice. That means hearing God’s Word and living forth from it obediently and cheerfully.
The miracle of the transfiguration reveals that genuine disciples do not pitch a tent, are not frozen in a moment, dare not announce having arrived fully this side of heaven.
God seeks to reveal His Glory to us in our daily living. Many of us have truly encountered the Risen Lord Jesus and been seized by an unmistakable awareness of God’s splendor and majesty. It remains for genuine disciples, however, to follow a suffering Jesus along a way of the Cross in order to be united with Him in glory forever. Lent rightly continues.