Gospel Reflection Mar 8 – Deacon Don
Sunday, March 8
Second Sunday of Lent
Matthew 17: 1 – 9
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.”
We hear in today’s Gospel the recounting of Jesus’ Transfiguration. Jesus appears in a glorified state along with Moses, who represents the law, and Elijah, who represents the prophets. God gave Moses the law to bring to the Chosen People. Over time, they rejected the law. God then brought forth the prophets to restore the Chosen People to holiness and the law, and they rejected the prophets, including Elijah. Now God brings forth his Son and places him with Moses and Elijah on the mountain. Jesus’ presence goes beyond any previous Jewish leader — no mere priest, prophet, or king appears before Peter, James, and John, but the God/Man. Who else could possibly fulfill the law and exceed the wisdom of the prophets, but God with us!
In typical characteristic way, Peter acts and wishes to make three tents in recognition of the sacred moment they are experiencing. Just before this incident in the Gospel, Peter had declared to Jesus and the other disciples that, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” This moment validates that confession of Peter.
We all need morale boosts from time to time. We need to experience something deeply meaningful in our lives that heals our spirit and brings us peace. When our eyes are opened, our hearts soon follow. The voice in the gospel says, “…listen to him.” This is directed at Peter and the others — but to us as well. Our Lenten journey is short, but long enough to experience one moment of illumination from God to listen to his Son. Give a moment to listen, to hear what he says, to accept what we hear, and to own what we accept.
-Deacon Don Poirier