This second Sunday of Lent we read about Jesus’s transfiguration. In the gospel (copied below from USCCB) Jesus takes Peter, James and John up on a mountain, and see this mysterious appearance of Elijah and Moses, and we imagine the faces of the frightened apostles as Jesus’s clothing become a “dazzling” white. Here are some of the spiritual lights we shared as we gathered to pray with the gospel this week:
- dazzling: “extremely impressive, beautiful and skillful” are words to explain the meaning of this word we usually associate with a teeth-whitening commercial. When we meditate with the scripture in the fourth decade of the Luminous Mysteries of the rosary (which we recite today and all Thursdays), we imagine the astounding purity of Jesus and its radiation of light and glory. Help me to strive to seek the removal of the stain of sin from my life, Lord, so that I can dazzle before you and glorify You.
- As we see Peter, James and John’s reactions to this scenario, we can understand the confusion they must have been feeling. We look to the steadfast examples of Joseph and Mary who–like these apostles–are called to obedience without understanding. We are all called to be obedient where we may not get what God is doing in our lives. We must walk daily with Christ and do exactly what this scripture calls us to do and “Listen to him,” and trust.
- “they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them“: We come into the world on our own, and we leave on our own. We must always realize that though we are loved and love in this world, in the end Jesus is always with us. We come to know and love him and prioritize him first in our day, so that when we end our journey here, it’s just me trusting myself to the Jesus I have come to know and love.
- How many times do I not prioritize my God? I may not understand what is being asked of me, but I must trust Him and His love for me. Elijah is perhaps in this scene as he had prophesied of the Messiah. Jesus is the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Old Testament.
- Listen to him: Sometimes God understands that we need a little help listening to Him. How much better it is when I pay attention to Him first, without having to go running when things go wrong. I must put aside time to listen to Him first and things go much smoother in my life.
- God reveals His divinity here to the apostles. He confirms Christ as the Lord with His glory. This will soon prepare them, as Jesus mysteriously mentions, for his glory in the resurrection. They will be fully prepared to revel in his glory in this moment on that day all the more.
Jesus Bueno and the Good Tipper
Our case today was about a Christian marathon runner who wanted to send a message to those who were watching him in the marathon. Rather than having his own name placed above the number on his marathon bib, he had the words “Jesus Saves” placed above his number. On the morning of the marathon, he probably never imagined that the words he pinned upon his athletic wear would be meant for him.
At some point during the marathon, the runner’s heart gave out and he effectively died. The first person on the scene to assist him was a male nurse who administered CPR. His name was Jesus (hey-soos) Bueno (which translates to “good”). Over the next several moments, various runners, medical personnel and pedestrians helped him as well, rotating CPR until he could receive emergency medical treatment. He lived to tell later that the words he proclaimed on his runner’s bib in that marathon were the absolute truth, “Jesus” does indeed, SAVE!
Things we loved about this story were that many people witnessed his proclamation of faith JESUS SAVES on his bib that day. This man, who was dying, had faith and was completely in the hands of God, and many more people would have read his bib had this situation not happened. His words of faith got much more attention by the situation than they would have just being worn during the marathon on one of the runners. We also loved how God uses others to participate in our salvation. The first person to administer CPR and breath life back into this runner was a nurse basically named “GOOD JESUS.” God does have a sense of humor and irony. Finally, we loved that the runner said he had practice run that route alone two weeks earlier. Had his heart given out then, he surely would have died.
The power of the name of Jesus too, was written all over this case. Another story that was shared by a member that about her son used to deliver pizzas for his job. Like all pizza delivery people, he struggled to make money off of other’s poor gratuities. There was one particular house that ordered a pizza at least once a week and was located in a crime-ridden end of town. Each time he had to deliver a pizza in that area he feared for his safety. Ironically, one of his regular customers in this rough part of town was named Jesus (Hey-soos) and he was one of the best tippers of all the pizza customers to which her son delivered. The best part of this story was the fact that her son had been struggling with his faith. The name of his “big tipper” was not lost on him.
We decided to wield the wonderful name of Jesus and call on him often through our day. Through our conversation, we also agreed that it was important for us to look so carefully at the ways God was showing us His DELIGHT in us and for us in the tiny places in our day. A member of our team is getting medical treatment for a serious illness and never fails to notice the names of the nurses, doctors and Uber drivers God sends to care for her, such as Angel, Angela, and Joseph (who we have been studying.)
As the dazzling Jesus in the gospel, we know that we too will radiate joy and goodness and delight God and others when we relish the goodness He has poured into our own lives. We will keep the word “DELIGHT” on the tip of our tongues this week, and post pictures on our GroupMe thread of the ways God has delighted us each day.
Gospel Reading for the Second Sunday of Lent: Mark 9:2-10
Jesus took Peter, 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 fuller on earth could bleach them.
Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses,
and they were conversing with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
“Rabbi, it is good that we are here!
Let us make three tents:
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them;
from the cloud came a voice,
“This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”
Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone
but Jesus alone with them.
As they were coming down from the mountain,
he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone,
except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
So they kept the matter to themselves,
questioning what rising from the dead meant.