Gospel: Mk 9: 2-10
Jesus took Peter, James, and John
and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them,
and his clothes became dazzling white,
such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses,
and they were conversing with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
"Rabbi, it is good that we are here!
Let us make three tents:
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them;
from the cloud came a voice,
"This is my beloved Son. Listen to him."
Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone
but Jesus alone with them.
As they were coming down from the mountain,
he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone,
except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
So they kept the matter to themselves,
questioning what rising from the dead meant.
Prayer: Come Holy Spirit, teach us to pray.
"Jesus took Peter, James and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves." To have been one of the apostles obviously would have been unspeakably profound--it also must have been incredibly tiring. The Gospels almost continually relate Jesus being on the move-preaching, healing, driving out demons, confronting the pharisees in their mind games, pressing on from village to village--Jesus was on mission and the apostles were swept into the ardent pace of His love. So I wonder their reaction when Jesus calls Peter, James, and John apart, who probably were already tired and "spent," leads them up a high mountain. Couldn't Jesus just as well revealed Himself by the cool Jordan or on the shores of Galilee? Surely they could have found a more easily accessible private place. And yet no. Jesus calls the three He has chosen and leads them up a particular mountain, at a particular time in his ministry, for a particular revelation that the apostles would need for their particular mission in the universal Church. The disciples probably understood little of this at the time but they followed the Lord as He led them higher and higher up the mountainside.
Imagine the disciples following. Perhaps place yourself in the scene. Watch Jesus ahead of you as he silently climbs. Allow your heart to feel that invitation to simplicity that he asked of the disciples--to not have all the pieces but to trust simply because Love is leading. Perhaps identify the 'mountain' that you find yourself being led up this lent--a place where Jesus has asked you for a greater generosity. He hides His graces in the radically particular: in this situation at work, or this tension with a family member, or this physical suffering, or this new encounter with my spiritual poverty...whatever it is, there we must look for Jesus's feet slowing climbing ahead of us, calling us to a mountain solitude. He leads us there not just because he wants to arbitrarily push us to our limits. He leads us higher because this is the particular space he has chosen to reveal himself more deeply and invite us to rest in the Father's invitation, "This is my Beloved Son, listen to Him."
Prayer: Our Father...