Transformation to Transfiguration

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Come and See 47
Second Sunday of Lent
Gen 12: 1 – 4a
2 Tim 1: 8b – 10
Mathew 17: 1 – 9

On the journey toward Jerusalem, like many other human beings, Jesus had to face many challenges. One of the biggest challenges He had to face was to find a short cut on this journey. Definitely, the transfiguration on the mountain foreshadowed the eternal glory that Jesus wanted to show to his disciples, but he had to go through the cross, the only way leading to eternal glory.

In Luke’s account of the transfiguration, the word exodus (exodos in Greek means departure) is used to describe the journey of the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt in order to go to the Promised Land through the desert.

going down from the hill, Jesus as well as all human beings have to face the reality of life: dangers, wars, earthquake, tsunamis, sickness, loneliness, darkness.

Clearly enough, the desert is an unknown, uncertain, and undecided place where the people of Israel followed the calling with trust and without looking back. Going forward without holding back is truly a journey of transformation. Before the Israelites reached the Promised Land, they had to be transformed into a new people. In other words, they were called to make a new adventure with a total trust in God. In the desert, Moses received the Law from God as a sign that if they followed God’s commandments, they would be safe to reach the Promised Land. If they did not obey God and found a short cut, they would face death. The Promised Land could be only for those who went through the desert with obedience and trust in God.

The account of the transfiguration in the Second Sunday of Lent reveals the theological point that we are on pilgrimages toward the heavenly Jerusalem. Eternal glory is true, but before getting there, we have to go through deserted places in our lives. Without hesitation, Jesus revealed to his disciples about his fate after the transfiguration; and he also emphasized  the fact that going down from the hill, Jesus as well as all human beings have to face the reality of life: dangers, wars, earthquake, tsunamis, sickness, loneliness, darkness. In short, the cross can be found in every aspect of human life. Human tragedies in our modern time become a test of hope and trust for all children of God. The earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and the war in Libya challenges us our vision of this world. What is beyond our reach in this world? If so, what is the best attitude to live by in this world? Love and forgiveness or hatred and competition?!

Lord, my God, help us to trust in you with all our heart, soul, and mind. Have mercy on us, and give us a new heart to love and serve you in all brothers and sisters we meet daily.

Br. Huynhquảng

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