Listen to him
Second Sunday of Lent: Mark 9:2-10
2 Six days later Jesus took with him Peter, James and John, and led them up a high mountain, where they were alone. As they looked on, a change came over Jesus,
3 and his clothes became shining white – whiter than anyone in the world could wash them.
4 Then the three disciples saw Elijah and Moses talking with Jesus.
5 Peter spoke up and said to Jesus, “Teacher, how good it is that we are here! We will make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
6 He and the others were so frightened that he did not know what to say.
7 Then a cloud appeared and covered them with its shadow, and a voice came from the cloud, “This is my own dear Son – listen
8 They took a quick look round but did not see anyone else; only Jesus was with them.
9 As they came down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has risen from death.”
10 They obeyed his order, but among themselves they started discussing the matter, “What does this ‘rising from death’ mean?”
Other readings: Genesis 22:1-18; Psalm 116:10, 15-19; Romans 8:31-34
Jesus chooses just three of his disciples to share a special event with him. It happens on top of a mountain – Jesus is transfigured, right there in front of them. There are four moments to look out for: a marked change in Jesus’s appearance; Moses and Elijah appearing with Jesus; the cloud that came down and the voice.
Mark says that Jesus and his clothes became brilliantly white and shone. He notes how the cloud covered the group and the mountain. Then there was the voice. It came from the cloud and declared Jesus, is “my own dear Son” and added a command: “Listen to him.”
Christian tradition tells us the cloud is the Holy Spirit. The voice, speaking of “my Son”, is the Father. This episode is a revelation of the Triune God: one God in three persons. Here on the mountain Jesus is revealed as the Son of God. Peter voices the awe he and his friends feel in the presence of God. It is something Old Testament stories reveal again and again when people encounter God (see Exodus 3, Isaiah 6).
What is Jesus’s purpose in allowing the disciples to share this incredible experience? Why does Mark tell us all about it?
What do you think the disciples would have made of Jesus’s order not to discuss this event with anyone until after he had risen from the dead?
In what ways can we “listen to him” as God told the disciples to do?
Today’s responsorial Psalm is a hymn of thanksgiving from a man saved by God from death. Join the Psalmist in giving thanks to God for saving you for eternal life.
Ask the Holy Spirit to overshadow you. To transform you so that people around you see something special in the way you live your life. Ask God to help you reflect more of Jesus to others.
Give thanks that we have the awesome privilege of saying “… I walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 116:9). Ask God’s help so that this becomes a daily reality for you.
In the first reading, Exodus 20:1-17, God gives Moses the Ten Commandments, or Law, to the Israelites. Jesus’s actions reflect his desire to honour God and respect the house of God. Our Gospel reading shows that Jesus remained a mystery for many people and this is still true today.
In 1 Corinthians 1:22-23 Paul underlines this. The Jews want miracles, the Greeks want wisdom. The crucified Christ is offensive to the former and makes no sense to the latter. This reminds us that we must approach God with faith and a humble attitude for Him to reveal Himself to us.
Lectio Divina is an ancient tradition of reading and engaging with God’s Word
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.