Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Bolton

Stay with us, Lord, on our journey

Cycle A

Second Sunday of Lent

 

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 Matthew 17:1-9

"Jesus led them up a high mountain"

Just a few days before this incident Jesus had been speaking of the passion that lay ahead. And now we are on the mountain of God where the heavenly cloud denotes the Father’s presence. Moses and Elijah, heralds of Old Testament times, present God’s Son to us - the new prophet par excellence. The Father bids the disciples be attentive to him, for he is entrusted with the very secrets of God. The whole scene is pervaded by the dazzling brightness of glory that emanates from the person of God’s own Son - an anticipated revelation of the glory that will burst forth from the tomb on Easter morning.

Peter tries to cling to the joyous vision. It is good to be here. Instead of talking about suffering and death, why doesn't Jesus just fix his dwelling permanently on the holy mountain with Moses and Elijah? But the mission of Jesus cannot be abandoned. The vision passes and Jesus remains alone with his disciples. He has experienced the affirming love of his Father shining to the very core of his being and he is ready to go on. The three disciples have been given a glimpse of his hidden identity and will “listen to him” – even, they will discover, along a path of suffering. Strengthened by the vision, they come down from the mountain and continue the journey.

In the Eucharistic liturgy we can at times echo the words of Peter: “Lord, it is good to be here”, wanting to cling to its tranquillity and peace, but like him we cannot stay. We too have to return to everyday life with all its joys and sorrows, demands, challenges and set-backs. We in turn must set our face towards the troubled world in which we live and continue the journey, strengthened now by the faith we share.