Introduction: This is Transfiguration Sunday, there was a change in Jesus appearance, we must change more than appearances in our conversion process.
God promises Abram descendants as numerous as the stars. He also promises the Land.
Paul tells the Philippians and us, “He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself.”
After telling the disciples and us that he must go up to Jerusalem to suffer and die, he gives them a glimpse of his glory.
Here we touch promise and a certain mystical aspect of our Christian life. Like Peter we may want to solidify it and turn the moment into a building project or a ritual. We always would rather stay with the glory than the way to the cross. But with Jesus are Moses and Elijah. Aaron the priest or David the king are not with Jesus. Moses who led the people out of slavery to freedom and Elijah whom king Ahab called “the troublemaker of Israel” are with Jesus. They are speaking about the Exodus of Jesus. He must pass through the cross to arrive at the Resurrection, the promised Land for all eternity. In an instant the glory is gone and Jesus and the disciples must return to not only earth but down from the mountain top. Jesus leads the way. They make their way around the edges of the cliffs, over the rocky road, back down the mountain to the very bottom of the hill: to the dirty towns and hurting people and unbelieving officials and ineffective institutions below, where the sick and outcast, the abandoned and infected wait for them, expecting the miraculous, expecting to be healed.
We cannot hope to have a peak or mountain experience without the long trek up the mountain, the long journey to find God. But we cannot hope to stay on the mountain, on highs. We have to get “down and dirty” as the expression says. Pope Francis has encouraged priests to have “the smell of the sheep”. That isn’t only for priests who are ordained but for those of us who at are Baptism were signed with Chrism to be “priest, prophet and shepherd (king). We are to find goodness within ourselves (be transfigured and shine with new light) and put this into action. What of God’s goodness is God showing me, how am I putting it into action?
The traditional practices of Lent are prayer, fasting and alms giving. Concerning prayer, Pope Francis said:
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