Second Sunday of Lent: Luke 9:28b-36
The significant event of Transfiguration came with a series of encounters of Jesus with His disciples. Knowing that transfiguration is found in the synoptic gospels, it is important to consider what was going on in the context before and after this remarkable event. First, Peter confesses that Jesus is the Christ (Matthew 16:13-20, Mark 8:27-30, Luke 9:18-21), which is followed by Jesus announcing that He must die on the cross and rise from the dead in three days (Matthew 16:21-26, Mark 8:31-37, Luke 9:22-25). Six days later — Luke writes “about eight days later” (Luke 9:28) — Jesus takes Peter, James, and John with Him to a high mountain where He is transfigured before them, appearing with Moses and Elijah (Matthew 17:1-8, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36). Then, Jesus healed the boy possessed by a demon, which the disciples could not heal. After that, Jesus again tells his disciples that He must die on the cross and rise again on the third day. Thus, the series ends with Jesus is emphasizing the cross. (Matthew 17:22-23; Mark 9:30-32; Luke 9:43-45).
These events must have shaken the disciples. Those who wanted to follow him could not understand what passion and death on the cross meant. Therefore, Jesus needs to let them see His divinity. That He is indeed God. He intended to make them understand that, however grievous our suffering in this life would be, life does not end in suffering. It does not end physical death, but rather there will be the glory of the resurrection that is to come.
However, as human nature dictates, we retreat from suffering and we shudder before impending threats. Therefore, we must constantly hear the voice of the Father that tells us, “This is My Beloved Son…” “You are my beloved son” “You are my beloved daughter.” We constantly need to hear that we are loved and cared for by people around us. We constantly need to validate the love of people around us to keep moving and striving amid the struggles and pains of life. Only then we will be capable of “going down the mountain” to meet our brothers and sisters who share the same struggles.
It was so true for Fr. Palau as well. He felt the urge to “go down the mountain” and encounter his brothers and sisters who were suffering. He felt called to be a father, a father to the Beloved Daughter, the Church. “I heard the Father’s voice say to me: bless my beloved Daughter and your Daughter…” and wondered “ … how could I be a Father in the Church and of the Church.” The deep relationship of a good father to his son or daughter is the very core of our call in the Church. To be a father to those who are confused, lost, and broken. To be a mother to those who are needing care, support, and acceptance.
The encounter of the disciples with Jesus who transfigured before them affirmed his identity as God. May we, in this Lenten season affirm our identity as beloved sons and daughters of God. We are the beloved children of God and we are called to be fathers and mothers of the children of God.
“Reina del Carmelo” Community
Lucena City, Philippines