Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.
Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” —not knowing what he said.
While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
Have you ever had the experience when you saw someone differently, if only for a moment? You saw them with more compassion, more generosity. Maybe it was your spouse or your child, maybe a best friend, or maybe a perfect stranger on a bus. Grace moved your heart to see with new eyes. I like to believe that what happens in those moments when compassion and generosity and kindness move us to see differently that we are getting a glimpse of how God sees that person.
Lent ought to be about moving more deeply into that vision, to see as God sees. It may sound like a preposterous idea. And yet if we take Jesus seriously, if we take Jesus at his word, he is continually inviting us into his life, his way of seeing things. Jesus is always asking us, “Don’t you want to be my companion? Don’t you want to be my follower?” And when you follow as Peter, James, and John do in today’s gospel, you’ll see life differently. You’ll see yourself differently. You’ll see the world differently.
I’m convinced that in the gospel stories when people look into the eyes of Jesus they all see the same thing. In my imagination, when people look into the eyes of Jesus what they see is themselves. They see themselves as they can be. They see themselves freed up from sin and death and everything that holds them back from living the life that God dreams for them.
When people look into the eyes of Jesus, when Peter, James, and John looked into the eyes of Jesus on the mountain at the moment of transfiguration, I think they felt a thrill of liberation and a sense of mission to step into what it is that God desires for them. May we know that grace.
—Fr. Patrick McGrath, S.J., President of Loyola Academy
Lord, in so many ways we realize our frailties in your apostle, Peter. Though he witnesses your glorious Transfiguration, he, nonetheless, eventually denies that he even knows you. While we truly believe that you have interceded in our lives, we will still question your faithfulness and grow discouraged by your seeming absence. Lord, we recommit to you this day. We ask that our faith becomes the constancy in our life and that nothing undermines our trust in you.
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!