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God Truly Reveals Himself to Us
Second Sunday of Lent
Jesus took Peter, John, and James and went up the mountain to pray. While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem. Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep, but becoming fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As they were about to part from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here; let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” But he did not know what he was saying. While he was still speaking, a cloud came and cast a shadow over them, and they became frightened when they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.” After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. They fell silent and did not at that time tell anyone what they had seen.
Opening Prayer: Father in Heaven, Jesus taught us to call you Father and you have revealed that we are your children. Thank you for inviting me to this moment of prayer with you. Just as you called Peter, James, and John apart with you, you are inviting me to enter your heart. Increase my faith, hope, and love, as I recognize that I am in your presence. May I fully enter this sacred space and time of dialogue with you.
- Privileged Place of Prayer: Today’s Gospel reading marks the second Sunday of our Lenten journey, and is an important moment in Jesus’ self-revelation to his Apostles—and to us. It is significant that this event happened when “Jesus took Peter, John, and James and went up the mountain to pray.” As we strive to discover God’s presence in our daily lives and, perhaps, open our hearts to God with our Lenten resolutions and commitments, let us not forget this one: taking time and space apart for prayer is essential to growing in our relationship with God. There, in a privileged way, he reveals himself to us. Let us recognize with Peter, “It is good that we are here.”
- Good Jesus Prepared Them: Our Lord called these three Apostles apart at a significant time in his ministry. Already, he had predicted his Passion to them twice, yet it is clear from Luke’s Gospel–and clearer from Mark’s (9:30-32)–that they did not understand what he was talking about. He knew the immense blow it would be to their way of seeing things. They were still arguing about ranking order among themselves while Jesus was opening his heart to them and sharing with his friends that he was going to suffer. Perhaps they still imagined a political savior, a terrestrial king, and an all-too-earthly Kingdom of God. Their faith was real, but it was weak, and Jesus wanted to prepare them, to teach them to see things with God’s eyes rather than their own. Perhaps in this time of prayer, we can let rise up in our heart that particular person for whom we need more light to see with God’s eyes. We can speak to Our Lord about this as we sit apart on our “mountaintop” in prayer.
- Remembering His Faithfulness: Appearing together with Jesus were Moses, representing the fulfillment of the Old Testament law, and Elijah, fulfillment of the prophecies. For Peter and the Apostles, their presence would have pointed to the true identity and mission of Jesus and the revelation of God’s plan—though they would need time and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to fully grasp it. Perhaps this vision strengthened their experience of God’s fidelity. God, who revealed himself to Abraham, who gave his law to Moses, and who promised that another Elijah would come to reveal his presence among men, had been fulfilled in Jesus before them. And everything was affirmed when they heard, “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.” As we repeat these words over and over in prayer, may our faith be strengthened, together with theirs.
Conversing with Christ: Father, you are faithful to your word, to your promises; nothing that you do is in vain. I believe this. You know my faith is weak, as the Apostles’ faith was. Strengthen my faith. Give me the grace to open my heart to you in prayer and teach me to see things a bit more like you do, with great trust in your providence. Above all, Lord, fill me with your love and let me hear your voice in my heart today, saying that I, too, am your beloved child.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will strive to let these words or another phrase from my prayer accompany me throughout the day, repeating them from time to time: You are my beloved child. In you, I am well pleased.
For Further Reflection: You may wish to go back to the Old Testament and read about the lives of Moses (Moses’ birth in Exodus 2:2 and death in Deuteronomy 34:5-7) and Elijah (1 Kings 17, 18).
Beth Van de Voorde is a Regnum Christi Consecrated Woman, currently serving in pastoral ministry to families in Madrid and Valencia, Spain. When she’s not reading Ratzinger or humming along to some song or another, you may find her making her pilgrim way through Spain’s timeless history of faith, walking alongside the beautiful families and young people she’s there to serve.
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