Second Sunday in Lent – Year C, The Transfiguration.

“This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!”

Gospel: Luke 9:28-36

28 Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. 30 Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. 31 They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33 Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. 34 While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. 35 Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” 36 When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.

Gospel Summary

Peter, James and John went with Jesus to pray and witnessed the transfiguration. Along with Jesus stood Moses and Elijah. The disciples had no idea what was happening and Peter, in his ignorance, suggested that they erect three tents to commemorate the event. As though to correct Peter’s misunderstanding, a voice came from the cloud naming Jesus as his son and telling the disciples to listen to him. There was not to be confusion about Moses or Elijah being equal to Jesus nor should Peter have tried to assume control of a holy happening, but rather listen to this holy one.

Relating the Gospel to our lives today.

The Transfiguration, in today’s Gospel is a foretaste of the Resurrection, which was meant to give the Apostles courage to face the coming Suffering and Death of Our Lord.  Even after having been warned by Jesus about the coming persecution, St. Peter did not want to accept the cross.  Rather, he wanted to set up three tents so that they could stay on the mountaintop with this beautiful foretaste of the Resurrection. 

Archbishop Fulton Sheen wrote of St. Peter, “If there was one dominant characteristic about St. Peter, it was that he hated discipline, mortification, and self-denial. He’s just like the rest of us. He wanted to lay hold of the immediate and that which is joyful, but he did not want to have anything really crucial (cross-bearing) in his life.” How willing are we to embrace the cross?  Are we looking for the mountaintop experience to be the focus of our life with Jesus? Are we like St. Peter, not wanting to let go of the spiritual exhilaration and instead cling to the life-saving cross? We cannot stay on the mountaintop, revelling in the glory of the Resurrected Lord, if we have not first embraced the cross.  Let us not run from the crosses in our lives but instead ask for the courage to embrace them as Jesus did.

  • What are the crosses in my life?
  • Am I accepting or rejecting these crosses?
  • This life and these crosses are only temporary.

Dear Jesus,

Give me the courage to recognise and accept my crosses as you did. Help me understand that this life is only temporary, and my destiny is to spend eternity with you in perfect happiness, peace and love in the promise of your glorious Resurrection.

Thank you, I love You Jesus, amen.

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One thought on “Second Sunday in Lent – Year C, The Transfiguration.

  1. “Is not our nation today very much like Peter on the mountain of the Transfiguration, who, seeing the face of Our Lord blazing as the sun and His garments white as snow as he spoke with Moses and Elias, cried out in the ecstasy of joy: “Lord, it is good for us to be here. Let us build three tabernacles: one for Thee, one for Moses and one for Elias.” Peter felt that everything should be kept just as it was; that the present transient glory should be captured, and that the status quo should be preserved in its totality.

    But not so with the Saviour. While Peter was saying: “Stay here on the Mount of the Transfiguration,” Our Lord was practically saying: “Go to Mount Calvary.” While Peter was contemplating building tabernacles, Our Lord was talking to Moses and Elias of His death. Peter was concerned only with saving: but the Saviour’s interest was in regeneration.

    Peter did not understand that the vision of glory which he was bequeathed was in the future, not the present, and in order to attain it one had to take up a Cross. There were two beats in the Transfiguration: Withdrawal and return. Withdrawal from the present glory for a crucifixion and a return to a greater glory because of it. This momentary detachment from present glory of the Saviour’s was not a truancy to duty; it was a withdrawal according to plan to seize the initiative at another time and in another way. His attitude was like that of a soldier chosen from the rank and file for a greater mission, and a greater glory through sacrifice. It was the spiritual confirmation of an old law, then as now forgotten, that greatest victories are won only by the same surrender of lesser glories. As the athlete withdraws himself from the legitimate pleasures of life, and disciplines his body in order to win greater glory the day of the meet, so too the Saviour suggested that Peter withdraw himself from the present, surrender the easy way out, go down to momentary defeat in order to purchase true glory later on, for unless there is a Good Friday in our lives there will never be an Easter Sunday; unless there is a crown of thorns there will never be the halo of light; unless there is the scourged body there will never be the glorified body.

    Are not too many Americans like Peter who say: “Lord, it is good for us to be here. Let us build tabernacles for all our customs, practices and philosophies.”

    Is it not truer to say that the American way of life is not something so good as to be defended just as it is; rather it is something to be amended. There is a hierarchy of values; the life is more than the meat; the body is more than the raiment and the whole world is not worth a single soul. ”

    ~ Fulton J. Sheen, Commencement 1941, Notre Dame. Lk 9:28-36

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