Reflection on 2nd Sunday in Lent: 13th March 2022

A Wonderful Experience

The mountain top experience referred to in today’s gospel is a unique peak experience for Peter, James and John, another revelation of Jesus as the Beloved Son and an invitation for us to rediscover our belovedness. ‘Each one of us has our own venue of transformation/transfiguration. For some it might be art, for others it might be poetry or silence or whatever experience takes us to the deeper place’1 where we experience the presence of and our oneness with the One in whose image we are created. Like the apostles, we want to prolong those peak experiences. Jan Richardson beautifully describes how we might feel: ‘Believe me, I know how tempting it is to remain inside this blessing, to linger where everything is dazzling and clear. We could build walls around this blessing, put a roof over it. We could bring in a table, chairs, have the most amazing meals. We could make a home. We could stay. But this blessing is built for leaving. This blessing is made for coming down the mountain. This blessing wants to be in motion, to travel with you as you return to level ground. It will seem strange how quiet this blessing becomes when it returns to earth. It is not shy. It is not afraid. It simply knows how to bide its time, to watch and wait, to discern and pray until the moment comes when it will reveal everything it knows, when it will shine forth with all it has seen, when it will dazzle with the unforgettable light you have carried all this way.’2

From the comfort of our own homes it is easy to relate to the beauty and truth of these words. But what will they mean to all who are suffering worldwide from war and climate crisis? With Jan Richardson we pray ‘for every place broken by violence and hatred; for every person in pain and grief, this blessing is for you, from me, in sorrow and hope : There is nothing a blessing is better suited for than an ending, nothing that cries out more for a blessing than when a world is falling apart. This blessing will not fix you, will not mend you, will not give you false comfort; it will not talk to you about one door opening when another closes. It will simply sit itself beside you among the shards and gently turn your face toward the direction from which the light will come, gathering itself about you as the world begins again.’2

We pray that each person in pain will, in time, be able to reconnect with whatever renews their spirit and will again experience the wonder of God as “a Presence that protects us from nothing but unexplainably sustains us in all things.”

[1] Adapted : [1] James Finley [2] Jan Richardson: paintedprayerbook.com

Gospel Luke 9:28-36

Jesus took with him Peter and John and James and went up the mountain to pray. As he prayed, the aspect of his face was changed and his clothing became brilliant as lighting. Suddenly there were two men there talking to him; they were Moses and Elijah appearing in glory, and they were speaking of his passing which he was to accomplish in Jerusalem. Peter and his companions were heavy with sleep, but they kept awake and saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As these were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three tents, one for you one for Moses and one for Elijah.” – He did not know what he was saying. As he spoke, a cloud came and covered them with shadow; and when they went into the cloud the disciples were afraid. And a voice came from the cloud saying, “This is my Son, the Chosen One. Listen to him.” And after the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. The disciples kept silence and, at that time, told no one what they had seen.