Last week we heard of Jesus’ temptation in the desert at the beginning of His public ministry. Today we hear of His transfiguration before their eyes. His face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. The most fascinating is the voice of God, the Father. This event marks the beginning of Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem for His passion.
The Second Sunday of Lent brings us to the summit of Mount Tabor. Here Jesus invites us with Peter, James and John to witness a glimpse of his glory. We hear the Father’s voice again. "This is my chosen Son: listen to him" (Lk 9:34). The Father reconfirms his love for his Son. This time it is addressed to all of us, as Jesus appears bathed in the light of glory. He stands between Moses and Elijah—two great leaders in Israel’s history.
"The Law and the Prophets” sum up all that God had revealed to the people of Israel. God through the ministry of Moses gave Israel the Law at the foot of Mt. Sinai, and Elijah is one of the greatest of the prophets in the Old Testament who was to return to announce the Messiah. Moses and Elijah found themselves as men who spoke for God. And here is Jesus standing between the two of them! In this symbolic scene, the Father declares to us, "This is my chosen Son: listen to him”(Lk 9:34). Yes, Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. He is truth, hope, forgiveness and mercy. Jesus himself proclaims to us, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) We must come to Jesus as the source of truth in our doubts, as our hope and strength in our disappointments, and as mercy and forgiveness in our sin.
Fundamentally, our faith in God is centered in the person of Jesus. The life and power that flows from our faith does not come from a set of doctrines or a philosophy of life, for we cannot have a personal relationship with a set of doctrines. We believe and trust in the person of Jesus Christ. He is the one who draws us to the Father. From Christ flow all the truths of our faith. Yes, there are many truths taught by Christ and handed down to us from the Apostles, and these give rise to the living Tradition of the Catholic Church. But they all find their source in Christ himself as the one source of eternal truth and life. A good image to illustrate this reality is to reflect on the nature of light, one ray of light contains all the colors of the rainbow. In the same way, Christ, the one living person of the Son of God, is the source of all truths, power, goodness, and life itself.
This glimpse of Christ’s glory in today’s Gospel scene gave the apostles reassurance as they faced the threat of his impending Passion and Death. This glimpse of his glory gives us encouragement and hope as we journey in Lent to Calvary with Jesus. On Good Friday we see our Lord rejected and deformed in appearance as human weakness buckles under the wrath of Satan’s hatred. But the power of evil is broken by the shedding of Christ’s blood and in the glory of his Resurrection. Those who saw the film, "The Passion of the Christ" experienced the drama of the destructiveness of evil conquered by the power of God's sacrificial love in Jesus Christ, the Beloved Son of his Father. "By his wounds we were healed."
In "The Passion of the Christ" we see many men and women who desire to stop the violence and to comfort the Lord. There are Mary his mother, and Magdalene and John. There are leaders of the Sanhedrin, Veronica, Simon of Cyrene, the women who weep for Jesus, a few Roman soldiers and the Good Thief. Everyone, Jews and Romans, see in Jesus the outpouring of God's love and forgiveness. None are vindictive or filled with hatred. Each was drawn to Jesus as One sent by God to heal and forgive. There is in each of us, as well, a kindred spirit with these men and women that cries out to the Lord with the desire that his Blood cleanse us and give us new life that leads to Resurrection and Glory
Friendship with Christ brings the gift of eternal life to those who accept him as their Lord and Savior. Jesus fulfills the Law of God given through the ministry of Moses. He completes the ministry of the prophets symbolized in the person of Elijah. He is our strength to persevere. He is our hope of glory even in times that try our hope and test our spirits. Christ is our joy even in the midst of sorrow. In the Gospel of Mathew, Jesus said: "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away" (Mt 24:35). We take a look into our life in order to see if we truly know our identity. Are we sons of God? Are we aware of our mission in this life by listening to God and living with Him? The Lent is a time to reflect on these truths and fix our eyes on Jesus and fulfillment of our faith.