Mk 9: 2-10
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.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
So Good to Be Here
In his song “So Good to Be Here” from the musical Song of Mark, Marty Haugen writes about the transfiguration event having the disciples say, “It’s so nice to be here on Tabor, with you guys, and Moses and Elijah, and Jesus.” The disciples are happy to be away from all the problems and drudgery of life. They want to stay there!
Having a mountain top experience is awe-filled. It can bring clarity, strength, and hope. It can also bring to light the true cost of one’s mission. It was not long after Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr talked about being on the mountain top and seeing the promised land, sensing he would not get there with them, that he was assassinated.
Jesus is on the mountain top, transfigured in all his glory in front of Peter, James and John. With Jesus are Moses and Elijah, the Law and the Prophets. Jesus is the fulfillment. His mission of healing and reconciliation, of confronting evil in all its forms would cost him his life. This story is situated between two of Jesus’ predictions of his death and the kind of death he would suffer before being raised from the dead.
Lent prepares us to celebrate more deeply the paschal mystery of our redemption. Our call right now is, as the Father says, “This is my Son, the Beloved, listen to him.”
—Fr. Jim Caime, SJ, is the pastor of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Kansas City, MO.
Let us listen. Let us follow. Let us pray.
Click here to listen to the song “So Good to Be Here”..
—Fr. Jim Caime, SJ