Catholic Men’s Lenten Gospel Pilgrimage – 2nd Week of Lent – Sunday – Cycle A – Matt 17:1-9
After the disturbing revelation of His Crucifixion and His blessed Resurrection, Christ leads His “inner circle” (Peter, James, John) up a “high mountain” (traditionally, Mt. Tabor) to witness the Transfiguration (“to change the shape of”). The Transfiguration is a supernatural event of immense significance in which God in the Trinity is made manifest and Christ offers a preview of His glory at the Resurrection.
Christ is “transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light”; like His Father, Christ is “light from light” with a holiness beyond earthy possibility; He allows His divinity to be revealed to the Apostles. Christ summons Moses (representing the Law) and Elijah (representing the Prophets) to bear witness that He perfectly fulfills all Law and Prophecy in the New Covenant. Stunned, confused and frightened, Peter wants to to make three booths, perhaps to prolong the heavenly experience.
Suddenly, confirming His Divinity, the Holy Spirit appears as a cloud and the Father says, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him” The three Apostles are filled with awe (Divine fear and reverence) and fall, pressing their faces to the ground with great panic. Realizing the Apostle’s great fear, Christ speaks to them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear” ; when they look up, Christ is alone. Leading them down the mountain, Christ reconfirms that He will be raised from the dead and commands the Apostles to “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of man is raised from the dead.”
1) Marvel that Christ, the greatest leader of men, specially gathers and forms His inner core through the Transfiguration to confirm His Divinity and strengthen them for the coming ordeal of the Passion.
2) The apostles were filled with fear when they witnessed the Transfiguration. During Lent, renew your understanding of Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist/Tabernacle (CCC 1179-1186; 1373-1381) and pray for Christ to help you to be awed in His presence when you enter your parish.
3) Living with bodies prone to gravity, disease and age, it is hard to imagine what our resurrected bodies might be like. During Lent, review the Resurrection of the Dead (CCC 988-1019) and pray for Christ to help prepare you for your own coming resurrection.