Each year the church presents the gospel of the transfiguration on the Second Sunday of Lent. When it actually took place had nothing to do with the Second Sunday of Lent it was simply one of those days when Jesus called aside Peter, James and John and invited them to take a little trip up a little mountain, traditionally called Mount Horeb. They probably thought it was to have a little time away from larger number of disciples and apostles, perhaps to spend some time with Jesus in prayer. Boy were they in for a surprise!
When they got to the spot on the mountain where Jesus wanted them to be, they did indeed spend some time in prayer, perhaps enjoying the quiet, the solitude with the Master, perhaps listening to some of his beautiful words of inspiration. Being human and perhaps a little tired out from the journey up the mountain, the three began to doze and fall asleep.
Suddenly they were awakened by a sight so overwhelmingly sudden and spectacular that they were caught staring at the sight taking place between Jesus and the two other figures Elijah and Moses, standing there speaking to Jesus. To say they were enthralled would be a glaring understatement.
When this great vision was over and they no longer saw Jesus standing there in all his glorified splendor, but as they had seen him before all this took place they were equally dumbfounded. Then they began to descend the mountain with all kinds of questions buzzing around in their minds.
Jesus said to them that they were not to tell anyone about what they saw and experienced on the mountain until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. I can’t help but imagine that this must have astounded them all the more, but they followed what Jesus told them to do and told no one about the experience on the mountain.
This was a little side trip for these three apostles, something quite normal but at the same time something quite amazing. As we continue our Lenten journey over the coming weeks don’t be surprised if the Lord invites you to take a little side trip from your usual routine and asks you to do something a bit unusual. Don’t resist the invitation; you have no idea what the Lord has in store for you.
One thing you can be sure of, the invitation to take a little side trip with Him will result in his blessing you with some gift of grace that at this moment you might not even think of as possible, but you never know. The Lord doesn’t always give us too many hints ahead of time what He has in store for us.
I don’t know why or how the event of the Transfiguration became placed in the liturgy of the season of Lent, though it certainly makes perfect sense when you stop and reflect on it. I’m sure each one of us is experiencing some special moments of grace during this Lent already. I pray that is the case and that each of us is responding to the Lord with open minds and hearts.
Maybe you don’t realize it yet, but this Lent is speeding by already. Whatever you do, don’t let it pass you by!
A Blessed Lent to all,