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Dear Followers of Jesus Christ,
Today’s gospel Mark 9:2-10, reveals the Transfiguration of Jesus to his disciples and to our lives now. I love this gospel and this moment, always on the Second Sunday of Lent, when Jesus pulls back the veil and lets his disciples in on a secret. Jesus wants to show the disciples that he has the Father’s authority in his ministry on earth.
First of all, Jesus tugs at their sleeves and invites them with him high on a mountain by themselves. As we understand living in Colorado, just going higher up the mountain is itself a transfiguration. Elevation brings a greater perspective; we can see things differently with a view from a higher elevation.
So, all of a sudden, his clothing becomes white, dazzling white as the gospel says. Elijah and Moses appear to them. The disciples are being totally overwhelmed with joy. They now have a sense of Jesus’ authority and they find themselves belonging in this incredible religious history. They tell Jesus how cool this moment really is and they want to build some tents there so they can hang out with the prophets from ages past.
Then something greater happens. A voice from a cloud opens up in their ears and in their hearts. This voice says, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Wow. This must have been so spectacular to the disciples. We have lost just how marvelous this scene is on our Lenten journey. We can’t ignore this anymore. So, let’s push the pause button and dive more deeply into this moment with the disciples.
Jesus desired to draw the disciples into the inner circle of love of the Trinity. This is also where we are headed in this Lenten season if we take our faith seriously. Revealing the Trinity to the disciples opens the door to the authorityof Jesus to continue to his cross and ultimately to his resurrection. Our despair, our anxieties, our stubbornness, our hatred, and every aspect of our lives is being invited into the life of Jesus Christ. His authority heals us. We are also bearers of the mystery of the Trinity through our baptism. We are baptized, “In the name of Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” We must believe that Jesus has authority within us, within our human actions, to heal our sin and divisions. In other words, we are let in on a secret on this Second Sunday of Lent, along with the disciples, that if we, too, follow Jesus, he will lead us into a glorious relationship with the Holy Trinity.
Jesus invites us to hear his voice and follow him. One of the most important aspects of being a disciple of Jesus Christ is that we can listen to him still. The sacred Trinity resides within us through baptism. We find Jesus’ voice through the gift of the scriptures, especially within the gospels. We can listen to him lead us into places of love, into forgiveness, into his heart through the stories, parables, and images of these holy writings. We can also listen most carefully to the voice of Jesus Christ in our silence and in our self-giving in prayer. His voice leads us well beyond our ego. Our stubbornness is not the place where his voice comes through us. Our self-hatred and our hatred toward others is not where the voice of love enters our hearts. It is interesting that so often we resist such a silence in God because we can easily resist Him. Our egos our strong and we can be so hardened toward how he desires to be with us. Jesus took his disciples up a mountain so that they could hear for themselves the voice of the Father. Jesus claims his place within our lives through Easter and through our baptism.
Jesus invites his disciples to go down the mountain and to get to work. I believe Jesus in this moment was teaching the disciples to put love into practice. He was embracing his Father’s love for us in the world and showing us that in order to believe in Him, we must get to work lifting up the soreness of the world, the lack of encouragement to forgive one another. Love changes everything. The only problem is that most people think God only condemns them. I hear this all the time in my ministry. I hear such things as: I am not good enough or I am not worthy enough or I am not faithful enough or I am not pious enough or I am not holy enough. My prayer in this Lenten season is that all believers could put away these negative stories about their own lives and listen to the voice of Jesus leading us into the heart of the Father. The thoughts, the beliefs, the unworthiness of every believer is transfigured in love during this Lenten season.
God give you peace.
Fr. Ron Raab, CSC, Pastor