In the Gospel today, we have the account of the Transfiguration as recorded by St Mark.
On Mount Tabor, Jesus’ disciples, Peter, James and John, got a glimpse of the glory that was his as the Son of God. It was a wonderful experience for them. Peter was really excited about it and said “Lord, it is good for us to be here”. As we gather for Mass in the church or at home, we too can rejoice because we too can get a glimpse of what it means to be children of God. It is good for us too, to be wherever we are!
The Transfiguration of Jesus is a type of Epiphany story. Just as at the feast of the Epiphany we celebrate the making known, the manifestation of Jesus as light and saviour of all peoples.
I understand that Epiphany stories are common in ancient writings about holy people. In these stories, the veil which separates the invisible from the visible world, and the future from the present, is removed for a moment and truth is revealed. This is just another epiphany story about Jesus, following on from the voice from heaven at his baptism in the river Jordan and the manifestation to the Wise Men.
In today’s story, the main significance was for Jesus himself. It was meant to confirm him in the road he had taken as Messiah and his proclaiming of the Good News of our salvation. But it was also to benefit the apostles. They got a glimpse of the glory of the risen Lord. But they did not understand this until Jesus had risen from the dead.
And, so to ourselves. These are the occasional precious moments in our lives when we experience the wonders of God and his love for us. These moments may be rare enough but yet so important.
Think of very special moments in your life and recall those very happy memories when you might like St Peter, wish for time to stand still in order that you enjoy the event permanently. People often refer to such moments in our lives, the birth of a baby, the beautiful natural scenery, a sunning spring day with a new life bursting forth, a particular anniversary celebration and many other simple precious moments.
In the first reading from Genesis, we see Abraham is put to the test of offering his own son in sacrifice. We need to keep in mind that Abraham lived among the Canaanites who practiced human sacrifices to placate the gods. This story of Abraham would have been an attempt to counteract the motion of human sacrifice as well as indicating the faith of Abraham. It is an attempt to evoke havoc at the idea of God demanding the sacrifice of human beings.
How are your Lenten resolutions going? There is still time for renewed efforts. Note that Friday was the day to remember our efforts for CAFOD. I ask that you support their work of charity where CAFOD are working in our name to help our brothers and sisters in need.
Can I remind you of the great news that Westminster has become a Fairtrade Diocese. There is a formal zoom gathering at 11am on Friday 5th March where Cardinal Vincent will make a declaration to that effect. You will find the details on our webpage, so hopefully many will be able to attend.
That’s all for this week. God bless,