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Year of Faith

A Transfiguring Moment

When Jesus led Peter, James, and John up that high mountain, their lives were anything but normal.  Moses and Elijah appeared and began to speak to Jesus, as he was transfigured before them, his garments a glistening, intense white.  We call this event “the Transfiguration.”  (this weekend’s Gospel)

As we read the text, we should ask ourselves, “Why are we hearing about Moses and Elijah appearing to Jesus in the readings during Lent?”  One important reason is that these men all experienced a forty-day period of preparation.   Moses stayed on the mountain of God for forty days.  Elijah traveled for forty days before he had a vision.  And Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness, praying and fasting, before his public ministry. 

“Forty days” in the Scriptures–and in the life of the Church–traditionally signifies a time of preparation, discipline, devotion, and testing.  God gave the three disciples a sneak peek at the glory of the revelation of Christ that was first witnessed by Moses on the Mount.  They would not immediately understand the purpose of the suffering Christ was about to endure.  But having witnessed that moment of the resurrected glory, they would one day come to understand that God’s redemption would be accomplished, not by a conquering Messiah, but through one who would suffer. 

This Transfiguration anticipates not only Christ’s glorification but our own as well.  Paul said, “It is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”

ACTION STEP      How will you unite yourself this Lent with Christ in the “desert” in a particular area of your life, so that you too can experience the glory of Easter?

Ascension Press   Year of Faith      by Jeff Cavins