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Mark 9:2-10

The Word of God

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and 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 one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, "This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!" Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead could mean.

Mark 9:2-10
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Today is the feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord, when his three closest friends saw his glory, and heard the voice from heaven proclaim him as the beloved son. ‘Listen to him!’ Yet he told them not to tell anybody of what they saw. How mysterious to be in God’s presence and see his glory! I just stay in the scene, dazzled by Jesus’ glory, hearing the voice of the Father inviting me to listen to the Son, and feeling the mystery of being in the cloud.
    • The three apostles see Jesus talking with Moses and Elijah. Like Jesus, they were leaders of their people, leading it to freedom and to the true faith. Yet both had to suffer grievously to fulfil their mission and their presence at the moment of glorification is another indication that Jesus will suffer the same fate. I pray for a trusting faith in God’s providence.
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    • A listening heart is a heart warmed by the love of God, and taught by his words. The one we listen to is the Son of God, Jesus transfigured in his humanity. Prayer is better described as listening than speaking. Spend some time echoing his words, or just listening to the mood of love and peace in prayer. Following Jesus up the mountain for Peter, James and John was a following in love which would be part of their lives in the future. Going up the mountain had its tough moments for the apostles, but the view at the top was worthwhile: the glory of Jesus and the invitation of God. This is the same for us in our discipleship.
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    • Prayer can often feel like a long mountain walk! You wonder is it worth it, and you don’t always have the stamina. But if you give quality time to it, as you are doing now, it is always worthwhile. Jesus ‘took with him Peter, James and John' and he will take you too, if you are willing to climb. Try not to be irritable and edgy as you make your way upward with him.
    • You may have no great spiritual experiences, but being with Jesus and listening to him brings its own reward at a deep inner level. It is in this way that we are transfigured.
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    • This incident on the mountain gets us to look forward either to the resurrection of Jesus or the glory of the second coming. Peter's reaction also gets us to look forward to life with God, so that we will say in eternity, ‘It is good for us to be here'. In prayer we can rest at times and just be glad, happy and content to be with Jesus, in his presence and in his love. The transfiguration was for the benefit of the disciples, for their faith and confidence in the lasting glory of Jesus at bad times. It can be the same of each of us in prayer.
    • God's voice still echoes, inviting us to listen to Jesus. I allow myself to be drawn into the presence of the Beloved, invited to be close as were Peter, James and John. Rest a while in prayer and just say, ‘It’s good to be here.’
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    • Peter cries out in delight and wonder, “Master, is good for us to be here!” This is how we are surely meant to experience the presence of God – in wonder and delight, the created glorying in the Creator’s presence. Too often, we glide along the surface of the spinning earth, never listening to its heartbeat. We look into the depths of the universe and never hear the singing of the stars.
    • When did I last sing and make melody to the Lord with all my heart or clap my hands or shout for joy to him?
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    • In our journey to God we have peak moments, when the ground is holy. Like Peter, we want them to last for ever. But Jesus, “only Jesus”, brings us down the mountain and prepares us for the hard times ahead, living on the memory of brief transfigurations. Can I recall any of my peak moments?
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    • This revelation came after an arduous climb ‘up a high mountain’. It reveals Jesus’ importance. Am I willing to work hard, perhaps in prayer, to get to know Jesus more deeply?
    • Impulsive Peter wanted to honour Jesus, Moses and Elijah. It took the voice to silence him and to reveal that Jesus is the one that matters. As a disciple, do I in good times and bad try to listen to Jesus?
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    • Jesus, you needed this deep experience of transfiguration to strengthen you before your Passion. Life is hard, so help me to believe that like you I too am ‘the beloved of God’ as Saint Paul says (Rom 1:7). This will steady me in times of trial.
    • The divine is hidden within each of us. Sometimes my goodness shines out, and sometimes it is hidden. But everyone I meet, at home, on the streets, at work, in the hospital and the super-market, is a daughter or son of God. Lord, help me in this Lenten season to see that everyone is a divine mystery in motion!
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • In our journey to God we have peak moments, when the ground is holy. Like Peter, we want them to last for ever. But Jesus, 'only Jesus', brings us down the mountain and prepares us for the hard times ahead, living on the memory of brief transfigurations. Can I recall any of my peak moments?
    • The apostles saw into the real Jesus - a few hours on the mountains which they would never forget. When later they would see the disfigured face and the dying body on the cross, Peter and James and John would remember this day, and would remember it for the rest of their lives. They saw Jesus as the Son of God, and saw a glimpse in him of our humanity at its best. The glory of Jesus is the glory of love - his love unto death, and the love in him of Father and Spirit.
    • They saw him then as they had never seen him before. They were told that he is the one who is to come. They knew now they would listen to him, that his words were to be the rock of life. The apostles' faith was confirmed on the mount of Transfiguration. Prayer moments may often be transfiguration moments when we glimpse the beauty of Jesus Christ and we commit ourselves to ‘listen to him' as God invites.