The Second Sunday of Lent, 8th March

Matthew 17:1–9

Six
days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led
them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them,
and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white.
Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter
said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make
three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he
was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the
cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased;
listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were
overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not
be afraid.” And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself
alone. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one
about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

 

Commentary

The three disciples were privileged to see Jesus
in glory, to recognize that their friend could be fully present to them and to
God.  The
experience of the three disciples is a wonderful journey.  And today, let us be with three of them and
to take part in the journey with Jesus again.

 

The time of the journey begins at “Six days later”.  It refers to six days after
Jesus telling his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny
themselves and take up their cross and follow me…Truly I tell you, there are
some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man
coming in his kingdom (Matthew 16:24-28).”  Thus, our journey with Jesus begins with our
becoming of his followers.  How can we
become his followers?  We become his
followers when we deny ourselves and take up our cross to follow him.  It has three elements: denying ourselves,
taking up our cross and following him. 
And Lent is good time to practice these three elements.  We pray, fast and giving alms to follow the
Jesus’ example as told in the Gospel of last Sunday.  It marks the beginning of our journey.  Today, we follow Jesus.  He takes us to another stage of the journey.

 

The next stage of the journey is about trust.  The disciples trusted Jesus, so they followed
him to wherever he took them to.  Can I
trust Jesus?  Can I follow his lead?  Would I allow Jesus to lead me to a very high
mountain where he and I can be alone? 
Could I switch off my smartphone, turn off my computer and or TV set for
some period of time everyday during Lent so that I can be with Jesus alone?

 

Apart from the disciples, two other fore-runners of
the Incarnation, Moses and Elijah, were at the Transfiguration.  Jesus in glory talked to them.  For us, all the saints of the Church are
fore-runners of the second coming of Jesus. 
They are our examples and models of how we should live our lives. 

 

It is the very human nature that we share with
Peter wishing to stay forever in glorious moments.  We enjoy the blessing of our Lord God but we
are reluctant to take up Jesus’ cross. 
Unlike us, Jesus is willing to take up the cross.  Because of his willingness to take up the
cross, he was experienced as beloved son of God through a voice from a bright cloud
overshadowed them.  Can I hear
the voice of God?  How do I feel when I
hear God speaking to me?

 

Jesus comforted his overwhelming disciples by
saying, “Get
up and do not be afraid.” He uses these same words
to comfort us who are overwhelmed by our burdens, sufferings and wounds. 

 

The last stage of the journey is returning to
ordinary living.  The three disciples had
experienced something so extraordinary.  Such
an experience became a deep memory.  With
that memory, they would one day be able to testify for Jesus.  Do I have such a close encounter with God
experience in my memory?  How this memory
sustains me to live for Him?  Amen.