The Mystery of Light And The Voice In The Shadow
Lent is a time of transformation.
What better way for us to be reminded than in today's Sunday gospel.
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain on their own by themselves. There in their presence he was transfigured: his clothes became brilliantly white, whiter than any earthly bleacher could make them. Elijah appeared to them with Moses; and they were talking to Jesus. Then Peter spoke to Jesus, 'Rabbi,' he said, 'it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three shelters, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.' He did not know what to say; they were so frightened. And a cloud came, covering them in shadow; and from the cloud there came a voice, 'This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him.' Then suddenly, when they looked round, they saw no one with them any more but only Jesus. As they were coming down from the mountain he warned them to tell no one what they had seen, until after the Son of man had risen from the dead. They observed the warning faithfully, though among themselves they discussed what 'rising from the dead' could mean.
Jesus takes with him his rock and the sons of thunder; to show them the dazzling light of his full glory.
The rest of the disciples may have grumbled; but this is not an event Jesus wanted to show all of them. The revelation that was to happen on the mount was an experience, an intimate communion between him and his close few. And Jesus wants to bring each of us closer into a deeper enlightenment this Lenten season!
But what do we say to that exactly? Jesus shows us the full extent of his glorious nature, and in our blindness we don't always know the right thing to say.
Not knowing what to do or say brought fear into Peter and James and John. When they are faced with the dazzling light of truth and beauty and Jesus in his eternal state; as the God who dwells in inaccessible light; they encountered an experience beyond the human imagination, beyond any knowledge that they could comprehend.
We may often find ourselves in a similar position; when we think back to the "mountain top moments" in our own spiritual journey, I'm sure we can recall having said; 'I don't know what we're doing here God, but I don't want to leave this moment!'
Thanks be to God that he knows us, and he doesn't expect us to always understand straight away, to know the perfect thing to say or do! He often just wants us to listen.
This is my son, the Beloved. Listen to him.
Jesus shows them that he is the son of God, he is God, he is the One who created humanity and also the One who will save it; such is the power of his glory. And it is by no mistake that Jesus does this just before he descends towards his passion. This experience, this mystery of Light, is a reminder that Jesus is Lord, and that even as he will suffer and die in darkness, he is the Light of the world; and his passion is what confirms this.
At the beginning of creation God speaks light into the midst of darkness; and we celebrate the transfiguration this Lent as Jesus prepares to die on the cross, as a reminder that he is the visible glory of God, and the darkness of Calvary cannot win over the Light that he brings.
As we journey on towards Calvary this Lent, let us draw closer to the transforming light of Jesus with open hearts and minds, with a certain hope in what we have heard; that the Son of Man will rise from the dead. And let us discuss among ourselves what this could mean: for our saviour Jesus, for ourselves, and for our Church, this Easter.
Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, keep fresh in our minds your transforming light as we journey deeper into Lent.OPEN OUR HEARTS THAT WE MAY BE FILLED WITH YOUR SPIRIT. Renew us in tour image that we may be transformed into your likeness. Keep us fixed on your Word, that we may faithfully follow you through the Passion and into the glory of the resurrection.