Second Sunday of Lent – February 25, 2018
Throughout the Scriptures, people climb mountains in order to communicate with God and experience divine revelation. Moses receives the law on Mount Sinai, and later Elijah climbs to the same summit where he encounters God in the sound of sheer silence. The act of ascending a high mountain was often associated with drawing near to God’s presence in the heavens, and at the peak God’s voice would be heard as he descended to meet human beings. In this weekend’s Gospel, Jesus leads three of his closest friends up Mount Tabor where he is transfigured in brilliant light, surrounded by Moses and Elijah. Overcome by amazement and terror, the disciples find themselves lost in a cloud from which a voice rings out a pointed command, “Listen to him.” As we journey through this holy season, Jesus’ Transfiguration calls us to contemplation, to move beyond excess and distractions into that most interior space of our hearts where God dwells. Here his grace goes about the work of transforming our wayward desire and transfiguring our weakness to be recast as selfless love and strength in the light of his Son. What mountains are we climbing this Lent in order to carve out stillness and silence to allow God to descend into our lives? What do we leave behind and how will we choose to return? May we hear God’s voice today, beckoning us to listen to Jesus.
Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified. Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them. As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant.
Transform us as you, transfigured, stood apart on Tabor’s height.
Lead us up our sacred mountains; search us with revealing light.
Lift us from where we have fallen, full of questions, filled with fright.
Transform us as you, transfigured, once spoke with those holy ones.
We, surrounded by the witness of those saints whose work is done,
live in this world as your Body, chosen daughters, chosen sons.
Transform us as you, transfigured, would not stay within a shrine.
Keep us from our great temptation—time and truth we quickly bind.
Lead us down those daily pathways where our love is not confined.