And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a Father’s only son, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
O God, glorious and faithful, you reveal the beauty of your face to those who seek you with a sincere heart:
strengthen us in faith to embrace the mystery of the cross, and open our hearts to its transforming power, so that, clinging in love to your will for us, we may walk as followers of your son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit one God, for ever and ever.
Exodus 34:29 – 35
2 Corinthians 3:12 – 4:2
Luke 9:28 – 36
Deuteronomy 26: 1 – 11
Psalm 91 1:1 – 2, 9 – 16
Romans 10:4 – 13
Luke 4: 1 – 15
Transfiguration – Luke 9:28 – 36
In the common lectionary, the gospel of Jesus’s transfiguration on Mount Tabor is read on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, the “last” Sunday after Epiphany.
Luke’s account of the transfiguration is filled with first testament imagery (the voice heard in the cloud, for example) that echoes the Exodus event. In Luke’s Gospel, the transfiguration takes place after Jesus’s instruction to his followers on the cost of discipleship. To follow Jesus is an “Exodus” through one’s own deserts to the promised land, through Jerusalem to the empty tomb, through death to life. In offering to build 3 booths (or shrines) to honour Jesus, Moses and Elijah, Peter and his sleepy companions do not understand that Jesus’s Exodus does not end with the glorious vision they have witnessed. It is only the beginning.
The use of the Greek word “transfiguration” indicates that what the disciples saw in Jesus on Mount Tabor was a divinity that shone from within him. The coming Lenten season is a time for each of us to experience such a “transfiguration” within ourselves – that the life of God within us may shine forth in lives dedicated to compassion, justice and reconciliation.
The transfiguration of Jesus is a turning point in the Gospel: the beginning of a new Exodus, Jesus difficult “Passover” from crucifixion to resurrection. As his disciples, we too, are called to experience with Jesus the exodus of Jesus – an exodus that confronts us with the impermanence of this world and our own sinfulness and exodus from this life to the life of God.
The season of Lent that begins this week calls us to transfiguration – to transform the coldness, sadness and despair around us through the compassion of love of Jesus Christ. © Connections/media Works