2ND SUNDAY OF LENT – B
Six days after Jesus made the prediction of His passion, He was transfigured on Mt. Thabor in the sight of Peter, James and John. The Transfiguration marks the second “Trinitarian theophany” wherein the three persons of the Trinity were made manifest at the same time, the first being at the baptism of Jesus. Here the Holy Spirit was in the form of a cloud which represented the Shekinah glory or the indwelling presence of God in the Old Testament. The Father’s voice was heard for the second and last time confirming that Jesus is His beloved Son and addressing Himself to the apostles “Listen to Him.” Jesus standing on a mountain, is between the past [represented by Moses (the law) and Elijah (the prophets)] and the future represented by the three apostles. The Father’s voice ushered in a new way of “listening”, this time not anymore from the Decalogue (The Torah) of old but the to the Living Word.
The event should have been a preparation for the three apostles who will also witness the agony of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. It was a foretaste of the glory of Jesus which could only be understood in the light of the Resurrection. During and after the event before Easter, they never understood what it meant.
If we look around, everything is always on the move because science teaches us that molecules are in constant motion. From the first moment of our conception, we never stop growing and transforming. But our personal transfiguration has already begun at the moment of our baptism. When we were baptized, we were con-figured to the image of Christ and are constantly being transfigured moment after moment until we reach the fullness of our being. St. Paul reminds us of this beautiful movement: “We all grow brighter and brighter as we are transfigured into the image that we reflect; this is the work of God who is Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18).
But our transfiguration, although God’s gift to us, has a price. Just like Abraham, in the first reading today, was willing to give up and sacrifice Isaac, we, too have our own share of our own sacrifice if we want to be transfigured the way Abraham was transfigured as the Father of all nations. Jesus paid off his glorification through His sacrifice on the cross.
Every now and then, we experience what we call “Aha moments” when we can almost touch God and we feel a piece of heaven. Those defining moments of mystical experiences become a reservoir of strength and faith for us as we go back to the ordinariness of our daily lives. Then we carry them through when we are down in life, in darkness, in pain, in tragedy.
God is like a sculptor who does not just see us as a piece of marble but rather He sees the masterpiece in becoming, only if we let Him chisel away the unnecessary in us so that He can transform us into His very own image: His own masterpiece!