Gospel Reflections

2nd Sunday of Lent

Luke 9:28-36

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Maura McMenamin

Published: February 21, 2016

In this Year of Mercy, this reading has special significance for us.

And as He was praying, the appearance of his countenance was altered, and his raiment became dazzling white… "Master it is well that we are here; let us make three booths one, for you, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah...." "This is my beloved Son, my Chosen; listen to Him.”

Prior to the Tabor experience, Jesus was not always welcome and often rejected. He was disfigured by the encounters. The experience of the disfiguration that Jesus underwent at the hand of his own people can be dramatically juxtaposed with his experience of transfiguration on Tabor. Jesus was transfigured – transfigured by the love of the Father – a love so great that it is personified in the person of Jesus."

Something happens to Jesus; something comes over him as he becomes radiant. What comes over him is the expression of his Father's love; it is the Father’s expression of love that transfigures.” --Denis McBride

For the disciples it was somewhat scary and, at the same time, numinous encounter. They might well have recalled their experience on the lake and their reaction “who is this that the wind and the sea obey him?” Their Tabor experience prompted them to say "Master it is well that we are here; let us make three booths one, for you, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah."

The disciples were eager to build booths to honour Jesus, Moses and Elijah. Through the centuries we have built churches, sometimes forgetful that we are Church and that we are also the Body of Christ. The Church too has been disfigured not only by its enemies and critics but also, sometimes, by its members who can be uncaring and lacking compassion to those within and without. In this year of mercy, we are called to be transfigured in Christ and, being transfigured by Christ’s great love, we go out to transfigure the world by our mercy and compassion to each other, to the wider community and so be agents of change in this world of ours. A church which is transparent and through which the love of God is manifest will be a light in the darkness – a welcoming beacon to all.

Let us be open to this transfiguring love. As one writer says “God’s mercy can make even the driest land become a garden.” The garden of our world is thirsty for God’s mercy and hungers to be transformed by His Mercy.

God of mercy and compassion transfigure us and use us.



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