Father Mark’s Pastoral Direction – Transfiguration

Listen to him

On this second Sunday of Lent, we hear the story of the Transfiguration. It is an account of a significant spiritual experience for the disciples. We can recall in our own lives times when we received a new spiritual insight, moments when we came to know Jesus in a more profound way. These moments change us, they are powerful and can sustain us in difficult times.

During Lent we are invited into a new way of seeing. As our world faces enormous environmental challenges, faith communities have a huge role to play in protecting God’s creation for generations to come. The roots of the environmental crisis are deeply spiritual, for we have become disconnected from nature and forgotten how deeply interconnected everything is. This calls for a deep conversion, a reconnection; to be filled again with a childlike sense of awe and wonder where our relationship with the natural world is concerned. This Lent, let us spend more time in nature, being aware of God’s presence in every created thing. Let us stand awestruck before the beauty of the world.

‘The entire material universe speaks of God’s love … Soil, water, mountains: everything is a caress of God … From panoramic vistas to the tiniest living form, nature is a constant source of wonder and awe. It is also a continuing revelation of the divine. Alongside revelation in sacred Scripture, there is a divine manifestation in the blaze of the sun and the fall of night’.

      Pope Francis in his Encyclical Laudato Si, 84-85

The transfiguration experience was one that, for Jesus, clarified his relationship with his Father and strengthened him for the future. It was also a moment of deep revelation for the disciples. What have been the experiences, the moments of insight, which for us have clarified our sense of who we are, and what is our relationship with God?

On the mountain the disciples saw Jesus in a new way. His appearance changed. Sometimes in friendship there are moments of sharing in which we get to know a friend in a new and deeper way. Have we had that experience in human friendship, or in our relationship with God? Let us recall when that happened, and what it was like for us

The clear vision of Jesus with Moses and Elijah was followed by a frightening experience of being in a cloud and it was in the midst of the cloud that the disciples were instructed: ‘This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him.’ Have we had the experience of learning the truth about life and about your relationship with God from moments of confusion as well as from times of joy?

After their special experience, the disciples came down the mountain again. We cannot live each day at the level of special spiritual experiences, but the memory of them can strengthen us in difficult times. What memories encourage you in time of trouble?