Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone. There in their presence he was transfigured: his face shone like the sun and his clothes became as white as the light. Suddenly Moses and Elijah appeared to them; they were talking with him.
Then Peter spoke to Jesus. ‘Lord,’ he said ‘it is wonderful for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ He was still speaking when suddenly a bright cloud covered them with shadow, and from the cloud there came a voice which said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; he enjoys my favour. Listen to him.’
When they heard this the disciples fell on their faces overcome with fear. But Jesus came up and touched them. ‘Stand up,’ he said ‘do not be afraid.’ And when they raised their eyes they saw no one but only Jesus.
As they came down from the mountain Jesus gave them this order, ‘Tell no one about the vision until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.’
On the Second Sunday of Lent each year we hear the account of the Transfiguration. Lent is a season which confronts us with our humanity and contingence; and which concludes with the Passion and Death of Jesus himself. Re-encountering Jesus in this Mystery reminds of the more that is, beyondthose limitations and ‘endings’.
We are drawn into contemplation of the power and glory of God and the divine, or fulfilment and purpose – and the journey of Lent, and the journey of life, find again their proper place in the bigger order of things.
- When you raise your eyes to look beyond the limits of here and now, what do you see?
- What do you hope for?
- And what does God call you to?
Mosaic, Cathedral of the Spilled Blood, St Petersburg, Russia. (c) 2015, Allen Morris