Second Sunday of Lent (José Antonio Pagola)

Ross Reyes DizonHomilies and reflections, Year CLeave a Comment

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The scene is traditionally considered “the transfiguration of Jesus.” It is not possible to reconstruct with certainty the experience that gave origin to this surprising account; we only know that the Gospel writers give it great importance, since according to their account, it is an experience that gives some glimpse of Jesus’ true identity.

First, the account highlights the transformation of Jesus’ face. Though coming to speak with him are Moses and Elijah, representing perhaps the law and prophets respectively, only Jesus’ face, however, remains transfigured and resplendent at the center of the scene.

It seems that the disciples do not grasp the profound content of what they are vividly experiencing, for Peter tells Jesus: Master, it is good that we are here; let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. Peter puts Jesus on the same plane and at the same level as the two great biblical figures. To each, his own tent. Jesus does not absolutely occupy yet a central place in Peter’s heart.

God’s voice will correct him, revealing Jesus’ true identity: This is my chosen Son, the one with a transfigured face. He must not be mistaken for Moses or Elijah, with darkened faces. Listen to him. To no one else. His Word is the only word that is decisive. Other words have to lead us to him.

It is urgent that we recover in today’s Church the decisive importance given, in her beginnings, to the experience of listening within the Christian communities to the accounts about Jesus that make up the Gospels. For Christians, these four writings constitute a unique work that we must not equate with the rest of the biblical books.

There is something that we can find only in the Gospels, namely, the impact Jesus had on the first ones who felt drawn by him and followed him. The Gospels are not textbooks that explain academic doctrines about Jesus. Nor are they biographies that were written to give detailed information about his historical trajectory. They are “accounts of conversion” that invite us to change, to follow Jesus and to identify with his project.

That is why the Gospels ask us to listen to them with a repentant attitude. And it is with the same repentant attitude that they should be read, preached, meditated on and kept in the heart of every believer and of every community. A Christian community that knows how to listen each Sunday to the Gospel account about Jesus in an attitude of conversion, such a community begins to change. The Church does not have a potential for renewal that is more vigorous than the one that is contained in these four small books.

February 21, 2016
2nd Sunday of Lent (C)
Luke 9, 28b-36

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