Second Sunday Of Lent – Deacon Joe Stalcup’s Corner

Second Sunday of Lent: On Being TransfiguredBy: Deacon Joe Stalcup    

The Church uses the word Transfiguration to describe how Jesus’ appearance was changed on that holy mountain. His face shone as the sun, and His clothes became dazzling white. Was this a glimpse of what Jesus looks like when He takes His place at the Right Hand of the Father in heaven, maybe we are getting a look of the Trinity. The Book of Revelation also tries to give us a picture of the Lord in His Glory, the concrete changing of the Lord from physical into mystical on a mountain in Palestine.

Two other figures appear. The disciples clearly understand that these figures are Moses and Elijah. Moses is the Giver of the Law, the Word of God for the ancient Hebrews. Elijah is one of the greatest prophets. His prophecy made it quite clear that there was only one God, and that God was in control of the universe. They spoke with Jesus about Gods plan. Adam, by his own choice, was in the grip of the devil. The devil reigned on earth. Mankind was quite happy to continue the original sin of pushing God aside, and then suffering the consequences of living without love, without hope, for eternity. People still do this. We still do this when we sacrifice eternal happiness for the power and pleasure of the material world. God would put an end to the devils hold on mankind by using the evil ones own weapons against him. He would defeat disobedience with obedience. He would defeat hatred with love. He would defeat death with death. The death of Jesus would be one of complete obedience to the Father and total love for His people. Heaven would be opened up due to the cross.

Peter, James and John were there. They were the reason that Jesus was transfigured. We are the reason that Jesus was transfigured. The transfiguration took place so they and we could realize that the passion and death of the Lord was all part of His plan to redeem his people from evil. Jesusway was the only way to peace, to happiness, to eternity. This is my Beloved Son, Listen to Him,” the voice thunders from heaven. The Voice of God thunders for us to listen, to obey, to follow Jesus Christ.

The three disciples wanted to stay on that mountain. They even had a plan. They would construct three tents, one for Jesus, one for Moses and one for Elijah. They did not want the mystical experience to end. Nor do we. Nor should we. We have been ushered into the mystical. We feel the presence of God in so many ways, in so many times in our lives. Perhaps it is during a retreat. Perhaps it is during the Holy Week Liturgies. Perhaps it is when we look at a baby and feel Gods goodness all around us. Perhaps it is when we reflect on a challenge, a crisis we have experienced in our lives and realize that Jesus was carrying us and still is carrying us.

We do not want to leave the mystical presence of the Lord. Nor should we. In fact, we join Peter and James and John not just to enjoy the experience of the Transfiguration, but to bring this experience to others and to bring others to this experience.

This is what meant by the priesthood of the faithful. A priest brings God to others and others to God. The ordained priest does this through the sacraments. The lay priest, everyone who is not ordained, does this by sharing their faith with those around them. This sharing of the faith is far more than explaining Church doctrines and dogmas. Sharing the faith means bringing people to the wonder of the mystical. We do this by remaining united to the Lord. If we cannot bring other people to the Mountain of the Transfiguration, then we can bring the Mountain of the Transfiguration to them.

That is why it is so important for us to grow in our spiritual lives. We cannot be satisfied with just attending Church on Sunday. We need to seek ways to be united to Christ throughout our day. We need to schedule daily prayer. We need to have some quiet time with God. And then, we can take the joy of our union to others. When we are united to God, growing in our faith, we can bring the Mountain of the Transfiguration to those who are seeking eternal meaning amid the frustrations of the world.

This is what Lent is about. Lent is about changing our lives, and growing closer to God so we can fulfill the Lords command to bring His Gospel, His Good News, to the ends of the earth.

The disciples did not want to leave the Mountain of the Transfiguration. Nor do we. We do not have to leave the mountain. We just have to create that space in our lives for us and Jesus and know, as the Gospel of Matthew concludes, that He is with us always.

God Bless You.

Deacon Joe

Share on facebook
Share on twitter