Reflection for the 2nd week of Lent
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Now we are in the second week of lent. I would like to welcome you all to be active participants in carrying out the Lenten duties during this week. Last Sunday we had a beautiful reading about the temptations of Jesus in the wilderness. The wilderness was the focussed place in the first Sunday of the Lent. Jesus chased out Satan by using powerful words. The experience in the wilderness gave him courage and boldness to speak out and to do the right thing at the right moment.
This Sunday, the focussed place is the mountain. The transfiguration of Jesus took place in the mountains. In the Jewish context, the mountain is considered as a place of encountering God. It is believed to be a place, in which God often revealed himself when he encountered people. The examples are;
- Moses encountered God on the mountain of Sinai.
- Elijah encountered God on the mountain of Horeb
- Jesus felt the experience of God on the Mountain of Tabor
Therefore, the mountain is a higher place between heaven and earth in which God comes down and man climbs up to encounter God. This was a perception in the Jewish context. In the mountains, God spoke in the form fire, strong wind, earthquake, thunder and gentle voice. Today in the Gospel reading, he speaks in the form of a voice from the cloud. In today’s Gospel reading we see that Jesus with three disciples namely Peter, James and John went up to mountain where he encountered God in the presence of Moses and Elijah. At that time, he was confirmed by God saying that He is his beloved son, and all need to listen to him. The heavenly Father introduces his only beloved son to the earthly and heavenly people and invites them all to listen to him.
Today the question is; Do we listen to Jesus? and Where do we find Jesus? Jesus is present in the scripture as word, whenever we read the word of God or listen to the word of God, he speaks to us. No one can complain here saying that Jesus does not speak to us. Jesus speaks to us every minute, everyday, every year, even now he is talking to us. We need to identify and listen to his voice. His voice is sometimes gentle like breeze, sometimes strong like thunder, sometimes burns like fire because the word of God is alive, powerful and sharp like two-edged sword. Let us lend our ears to Jesus by paying attention to the word of God. Peter takes a prominent place in the Gospel reading of Today. He requests Jesus to grant permission to make three tents to stay over in mountain after experiencing the glory.
We learn from the biography of Peter that he never had a stable faith journey during the time of Jesus.
- When a big number of fish was caught, he pleaded Jesus to leave him.
- When Jesus asked all of them there who he was, he revealed that he was the messiah.
- When Jesus spoke about the dying on cross, he did not like it, he rebuked Jesus.
- He denied him three times saying “I don’t know about Jesus.”
Actually, he was an emotional person. Today also, after experiencing the glory he spoke out with emotions. Jesus wanted to bring them down to the reality. Because experiencing glory is one thing and facing the reality is another thing. Today he is requesting us to be practical and face the realities. Sometimes when we participate in the liturgical ceremonies we become more emotional and we want to go to the state of ecstasy. We want to forget the whole world. There is no doubt sometimes we need those kinds emotional ways of worship. At the same time, we need to come down to face the realities in our lives. Experiencing God in our prayer and facing the realities in our life have to go hand in hand.
God bless you
Fr Vimal OMI