Occasion: Second Sunday of Lent, March 12, 2017
You can find the full readings here. This lectio is based on the Gospel.
Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother,
and led them up a high mountain by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them;
his face shone like the sun
and his clothes became white as light.
And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them,
conversing with him.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
“Lord, it is good that we are here.
If you wish, I will make three tents here,
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
While he was still speaking, behold,
a bright cloud cast a shadow over them,
then from the cloud came a voice that said,
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased;
listen to him.”
When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate
and were very much afraid.
But Jesus came and touched them, saying,
“Rise, and do not be afraid.”
And when the disciples raised their eyes,
they saw no one else but Jesus alone.
As they were coming down from the mountain,
Jesus charged them,
“Do not tell the vision to anyone
until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
Transfigured, Moses and Elijah, my beloved Son, be not afraid, raised from the dead
Peter, James, and John are said to have been Jesus’ closest friends. He brought them with Him to the garden of Gethsemane, and John was at the foot of His cross with Mary. Sometime before those events, He leads these three up a mountain and He shares something very special with them; a glimpse of His true nature. It is something so profound that Peter and John mention it years later in their letters.
Jesus’ revelation can be seen from three angles, but all with a unifying thread. First, He is speaking with Moses and Elijah; the Giver of the Law and the greatest of the Prophets. The Law and the Prophets were intended to prepare the way for the coming of Messiah. Second, this reading comes a week after His temptation by Satan. Jesus shows His friends the glory that awaits us if we can resist sin and stay focused on the path God lays before us. The third angle is that He wants to strengthen them before they witness His suffering and death. At this point, His Passion is not far off, and it is going to shake them to the core, but they will need to stay the course and trust Him.
The thread in all this is to stay the course. Keep the eye on the prize of God’s glory, and glory that He wants to share with all of us.