1.Gen 12:1-4
2.2Tim 1:8-10
Gospel: Matt17:1-9

                            " Transfiguration of Jesus"

Dear brothers and sisters when we are celebrating the 2nd Sunday of Lenten season we are being reminded by the word of God more especially from the gospel reading about Jesus' transfiguration on a mountain during which his face was transfigured and shone like the sun, while his clothes became white as light.

From the gospel passage we hear that Jesus invited three of his friends, Peter, James, and John, to go to a mountain and pray. These three disciples are among the most mentioned names in the gospels. The presence and the invitation of these three disciples by Jesus highlights the importance of communal prayer. Elsewhere in the gospels, Jesus instructs his disciples to pray in private. While private prayer is important, communal prayer is important as well. It has been a good experience that during this season catholic communities do pious practices such as recollections and retreats. These prayerful activities recall the experience of Peter, James, and John, that is communing with Jesus. The season of Lent is a call to prayer. Thus if opportunity permits, we should spend time for it so that we can enter into the paschal mystery of Jesus. Moreover, this makes our celebration of Easter more meaningful.

The transfiguration of Jesus gives us a summary( previews) the glory and splendor of Jesus at Easter and beyond. It is the fore test of what is to come. On the part of the disciples, the transfiguration gives them a preview of glorious figure of Jesus. Then Jesus is shown talking to Moses and Elijah. Moses represents the law and Elijah represents the prophets. With these two figure we a profound theological meaning behind this scenario. The appearance of the two gives us an impression of the continuity of the law and prophets. This puts Jesus in the context of the salvation history of the people of God, Israel.

Third, Peter cries out to Jesus, " Lord, it is good that we are here." This statement of Peter is something we should reflect. Peter speaks of something "good" which may be translated into joy. Peter feels good and happy in that moment. We learn that there is joy of praying with Jesus. Community life gives us joy; communal prayer is also an experience of Joy. A family or community that prays together is the community filled with Joy. This in fact is what we should feel during the holy mass, we should exclaim like Peter, " Lord it is good that we are here".

The event of transfiguration is so important because it takes place on the road to the crucifixion. The disciples of Jesus have some sense that Jesus is on the road  to suffering and death. Nevertheless, Peter's proposal to Jesus, " If you wish I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah," was a way of avoiding pains on the cross. One spiritual interpretation of this statement could be building up a comfort zones. Probably, for Peter, staying on the mountain could be more advantageous than going back to the lowlands because there Jesus could encounter his own death. Jesus did not utter any response to Peter's proposal. The gospel tells us that after the Father speaks, Jesus told the three disciples. " Rise and do not be afraid." The transfiguration gives them strength and confidence that God is at work in the life of Jesus. It also gives them courage to continue with their work because of the assurance that God is or would be with them. After the transfiguration event, the disciples became committed to face the future struggles.

The transfiguration is the story of determination and hope. Our tendency is to build comfort zones in our life. Our tendency is to evade the pains and struggles that are there. What God wants us is to have the capacity to face all these. We need a determination to face life's difficulties and at the same time, cling to hope and promise of glory. Let us always remember the often used adage, " No pain, no gain."

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Chapisha Maoni