Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He did not know what to say, for they were terrified.
Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.
As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead could mean.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Jesus chooses Peter, James, and John, three of his closest friends, to witness what Pope Saint John Paul II calls the “the Luminous Mystery par excellence.” The brilliance of Jesus’ divinity shines forth through his humanity. Transfiguration provides a glimpse of future glory. Just as at his baptism, Jesus is revealed as the Beloved of the Father. The chosen are charged to “listen to him.” Soon these same three will be again called to witness the agony that even the Beloved of God must endure as he prays in a lonely garden. We all need special friends to share our joy and to help us bear our sorrow. Jesus is no exception. Today, as then, he seeks companions who are willing to listen to him, to go the distance with him – up the mountain and down the mountain to the cross. How far into the journey am I willing to companion Jesus?
—Fr. J. Michael Sparough, SJ, is a retreat master, writer, and spiritual director at the Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House outside Chicago. His daily Lenten video reflections can be seen at heartoheart.org
As a mother’s heart is tuned
to the voice of her child in a crowd,
teach us to sift through the many voices
that confuse our minds
and crowd our hearts.
Attune us to the voice of the Beloved.
For in listening to his life-giving words
and gazing upon his radiant face,
we come to relish his life-giving revelation:
We are the de-light of God,
called to shine like the Son!
—Fr. J. Michael Sparough, SJ