Sunday Readings: Genesis 15.5-12, 17-18, Philippians 3.17—4.1, Luke 9.28-3
Jesus took Peter, John and James and went up the mountain to pray. While he was praying, his face changed in appearance and his clothes became dazzling white. Two men were talking with him — Moses and Elijah. Appearing in glory, they spoke of his exodus which he was about to fulfill in Jerusalem (Luke 9.28-31).
His prayer on the mount of transfiguration is a turning point in Jesus’ ministry. A few verses later Jesus “sets his face for Jerusalem” (9.51). This gospel calls us to set our sights toward Easter, to enter more deeply the mystery of Jesus’ death and resurrection, which transforms us still. Luke calls us to prayer — to take time as Jesus does in his 40 days in the wilderness to integrate the Spirit’s urgings into our lives. Jesus prays outdoors on mountains, in deserted spots, in the darkness of night. He seizes moments of reflection in the created world — where heights lay open possibilities in every direction or the night shelters his struggle. On the mount of transfiguration Jesus models the transforming power of prayer in finding one’s way and facing struggles.
This iconic gospel places Jesus with the two prophets in Israel’s history who have interacted most intimately with God. Like the lawgiver Moses, who led an exodus from slavery to freedom, Jesus leads an exodus from death to new life and teaches his new law of love. Like the prophet Elijah, Jesus will confront the officials of empire and temple after his prayer in the silent stillness of a mountaintop. Peter, James, and John follow Jesus in this line of prophets.
How are your God moments a source of hope for you? What spiritual experience has transformed you and stuck with you as a deep anchor in your being?