Gospel Reflection Mar 5 – Deacon Frank Iannarino
Sunday, March 5
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.”
Throughout the Gospels, we always hear Jesus tell us “take up your cross and follow me.” Some respond affirmatively to God’s call, some do not. Why has God chosen us? Not because we are better, smarter, or holier. God calls us simply because we are. We must recognize that God’s love calls us to do something. God calls all of us to a new way of thinking, of changing our ideas about what reality can be. When we really listen to the Gospel and Jesus preaching, then we know that our world hardly reflects God’s vision.
This weekend when you hear the story of the Transfiguration, it takes us to a crossroad, just as it did the three disciples who had a unique encounter with Jesus, a foretaste of the Resurrection. The three disciples, Peter, James and John, had to make a decision: stay there, worshiping Jesus, or going out to the whole world with the message of his teachings.
Important as our prayerful encounters with God are, they are never only for ourselves. They bring us more fully into a godlike way of being. If they are genuine encounters, then we can’t remain on the mountain: we have to go back down to preach the good news.
Although the disciples wanted to stay there and build tents, Jesus says the time of action has come. Go down the mountain; forget about permanent tents for God to dwell in. Go into the transitory tents of human hearts, where God truly dwells.
As Jesus was transfigured on the mountaintop, may our lives be totally changed this Lent into the likeness of Jesus for all to see.
Deacon Frank Iannarino