Mission Society of the Philippines



Mk 9: 2-10

THE SECOND SUNDAY of Lent brings us to one important event in the life of Jesus, which is the Transfiguration. It is an important event because the ascent to Jerusalem is symbolic of the glory which is to come in Jesus’ life. Moreover, the fact that this event becomes part of the five “mysteries of light”, then, it must have been significant.

Let us try to examine once again the important moments found in this passage.

Firstly, the opening line of the passage says that Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain. They went there with the purpose to pray. For Jesus, a mountain is a favored place for prayer. Although people would say that God is everywhere or God can be found and experienced everywhere, the mountain is a privileged place for encounter with God. In fact, the best retreat houses are found in the mountains. Why mountain? Well, some spiritual writers would say that the height of peak of the mountain speaks of the meeting between humanity and God. If prayer and spiritual retreats are about encounter with God, then the mountain is a symbolic place for that encounter. The Lenten season calls us to prayer, to be more generous by spending more time with God. Thus, this is a moment to ascend to our own ‘mountains’ or places of prayer.

Secondly, Jesus then transfigured before the three disciples. The meaning of the transfiguration for Jesus is a foretaste of the glory which is to come, that is, after He undergoes passion and death. At the same time, it is preparation for facing the cross, according to St John Paul II. With this thought of St John Paul, the season of Lent can be a privileged moment to allow ourselves to be “transfigured.” In this world where comfort and convenience become the ultimate values, people tend to be afraid of facing life’s hardships and discomforts. Some don’t want to face the discomforts of life. But let us transfigure ourselves. That is, let us prepare ourselves in facing the many crosses that come our way. 

Thirdly, let us reflect on the reaction of Peter who said, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here.” Peter’s reaction can mean many things: the joy of prayer, or the joy of praying as a community. The celebration of the holy Eucharist is an experience of praying together as a community. The holy Mass is a communal celebration. Since this is a gathering of Christian believers, it should be accompanied with joy. There is joy in meeting the Lord, and there is joy also of seeing each other in this gathering. Like Peter, we would also say, “it is good that we are here”.

Fourthly, there was a voice of the Father which says, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him”. The Father invites the people to listen to his beloved Son. The holy Eucharist is also an opportunity to us to listen to the Word of God and to the Word of Christ. Listening is an attitude that we need to develop. Nowadays, more and more people do not care to listen. Most of the problems in relationships, like family or marriage, come to worse because of the inability of people to listen.

The word or instruction of the Father in the gospel passage is: Listen to Him! Why do we need to listen to the words of Christ? Why do we need to follow the teachings of Christ? Because Christ’s words are “a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path”. Or in the words of the apostle Peter, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of everlasting life”. The words and teachings of Christ give us light and life. In this life’s journey, we need a true guide and an enlightenment. Yes, some ordinary people can also be our guide and light, but nothing compares the words and teachings of Jesus. Why? Because his words lead us to salvation and eternal life. AMEN.

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