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Second Sunday,Lent,.C.March 11,01.Lk.(:28-36

2nd Sunday of Lent, C, Mar.11, 2001

(Lk: 9:28-36)

Years ago I had a chance to visit the foothills of the Himalayas with a few priest-friends of mine. There was a particular spot at the foothills where tourists would arrive around 2.30 am to see the morning rays of the sun fall on Mount Everest. We too went over there to see that magnificent spectacle of the Mount Everest becoming radiant and resplendent in the morning rays of the sun. It is a sight of such spectacular beauty that one would have to borrow the lines of the poet Wordsworth to describe its splendor: “a presence that disturbs one with joy of elevated thoughts and a sense of something far more deeply interfused.” It was in a way a daily enactment of the nature’s transfiguration in beauty and splendor.

Today as we listen to the words of the Gospel we find how the Apostles have come face to face with a beauty whose majesty and splendor no poet could describe. It is Jesus Transfigured in the glory of his divinity, an experience no man had been ever witness to. Peter was so overcome with the beauty of that spectacular nature of the moment that he wanted to perpetuate that moment forever on earth, to capture that dream in reality, by erecting tents there for Jesus, Moses and Elijah.

For Peter, John and James, the vision of the Transfiguration of Jesus would always remain etched in their memory whatever might be the suffering that would be inflicted on Jesus, whatever may be persecution they would undergo for their faith in Jesus. In their hearts they knew that it was with the Son of God that they were daily conversing and moving with. They heard a voice from the cloud that said this is my chosen Son; listen to him” and they would be listening to him forever in their lives and would try hard to make others to listen to Him.

The presence of Moses and Elijah indicated to the Apostles that the time of the Law and the Prophets was over and that salvation would now come only through Jesus, the Son of God. The Apostles were also at the threshold of witnessing the passing of an era in the history of salvation and of the coming of a new dispensation where salvation was offered to all, Jews and the Gentiles, to all races and nations.

What did transfiguration mean to the apostles? In their time of crisis, when Jesus was humiliated, persecuted and crucified, it gave them the courage to stick with him. To every one else the crucifixion would have been a signal of the failure of Jesus. But not to the apostles. Their experience at Tabor helped them to understand that what happened on Calvary, that suffering and death of Jesus were part of his glory and that they would result in His Resurrection . The apostles felt then and forever in their lives that Calvary and Tabor would forever be linked in a follower’s life.

The death of Jesus on the cross was the proof of his love for us and the proof of his glory the intimations of which were given on Mt. Tabor. As a spiritual writer has put: “ When we realize that God of all love is so present to us, that he loves us each personally, no matter how sinful we are…. Then all of life becomes new fresh and creative…That God loves us, personally, lavishly, unsparingly, even foolishly is what the Transfiguration of Jesus tells us.”

During this season of Lent as we prepare to grow closer to Jesus and as we mould and refashion our attitudes and perceptions, what kind of message does the Transfiguration give us?

Jesus through his love and mercy had transfigured hundreds and thousands of people. He brought them out of their sinfulness, gave them love and made them loveable. He cured the lepers, gave life back to Lazarus and widow’s son, expelled demons from the possessed. What is he asking us at this moment? He is asking us to continue the work of transfiguration. : whether we can we transfigure the lives of others through our love and compassion; whether instead of accelerating the speed of vengeance and hatred, we can try hard to create an atmosphere of love and understanding in our places of work; whether we can create a much deeper loving atmosphere at home. Can we be a little more tolerant of the weaknesses and failures of our co-workers?

We should also ask ourselves : What kind of transformation can we achieve in our own inner lives? Can we move from being a selfish person to a generous and understanding person? Can we move from being an angry and impatient person to a person of understanding and caring? From a non-caring attitude to one of helpfulness? We have to say Yes to all these questions. This is the way that we can undergo transfiguration in our lives. How do we get the courage and grace to make such a drastic change in our lives? We have to listen to the word of God: “Listen to Him, this is my Chosen son”. These are the words of God asking us to follow Jesus.

During this Lent, let us pray for the grace so that we can make this journey along with the apostles to reach the Mount Tabor to experience our own transfiguration in a smaller way.


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