Second Sunday of Lent
Readings of the day: RB 19 Our Approach to PrayerMass: Gn 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18; Resp Ps 116; Rm 8:31b-34; Mk 9:2-10
This is my beloved Son.Listen to him.
Today’s Gospel prompted me to pull out picture postcards from a 2000 pilgrimage to the Holy Land. One of my favorite excursions was the trek to the top of Mount Tabor and the Basilica of the Transfiguration. I have three cards: one a view of the landscape with Tabor rising in the distance; the other two from the basilica—the stained-glass window of the crypt with peacocks and the Transfiguration mosaic. To reach the basilica the pilgrim could either walk up the Mount or take a wild car ride. One memory that lingers is the sight of people hang gliding off the mountain—oh how I wished I could join in. I also remember the sun and heat of the day—the enriching time had by all. I could have stayed on the mountain all day; it was one of those experiences I didn’t want to end.
The passage from Mark’s Gospel recounts Jesus leading Peter, James, and John up a high mountain apart, by themselves. There, Jesus was transfigured before them—his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. Now Elijah and Moses appear talking with Jesus. This was an experience Peter didn’t want to end. He exclaims: ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’
We’ve all had moments we wish could last forever: time alone with a loved one; a really good party; the vacation of a lifetime; enjoying a favorite meal with your best friends; receiving accolades; watching your favorite team win the Super Bowl. We know life isn’t like that though. Life is full of joys, delights, thrills. At the same time, we experience times of sadness, grief, illness, diminishment, loneliness, times when we are not recognized or appreciated for our contribution to the family, community, work team. Jesus calls us to come down from the peaks and walk with him on the daily pilgrimage to death and resurrection. Jesus asks us to pick up our cross and follow him. We are on our way to everlasting life; now, we live the ups and downs of daily life; we struggle, we suffer, we die to self. Jesus accompanies us to the mountain tops, to the valleys, into the pits. Jesus is with us; He is with you. Jesus loves us; He loves you. May we walk more closely with Him during this Lenten journey and ‘look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come’ (Profession of Faith, The Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed).I consider that the sufferings of the present timeare not to be compared with the future glory that is to be revealed in us.
(Rm 8:18)If God is with us, who can be against us?