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  • Bill Miller

Scripture Reflection, February 25, 2024, 2nd Sunday of Lent

Genesis 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18 Romans 8:31b-34 Mark 9:2-10

In today's gospel Peter, James and John go with Jesus up a high mountain where they see him “transfigured before them.” He appears in clothes dazzling white.

Scripture scholars have discussed the importance of Moses, signifying the Law, and Elijah, representing the Prophets, appearing with Jesus, not to mention the importance of the mountain itself. They have discussed the significance of why these three disciples were blessed with this vision, and thoroughly examined the words, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him. “

But, first,… exactly what did Peter, James and John see?

I suggest that they saw Jesus as he really was. Granted, he was not constantly seen in the company of Moses and Elijah. But this radiant Son of God before them on the mountain was a true, more accurate Jesus than they were accustomed to seeing because of their own limitations. Here they were given a chance to see how God sees God’s “Beloved Son.” And it was so awesome that it was terrifying!

Thomas Merton, an American mystic and monk, famously wrote about his own experience. In Louisville to make a purchase, Merton was overwhelmed by seeing,…really seeing… other shoppers, strangers to him. He writes, "I have the immense joy of being human, a member of a race in which God became Incarnate.… As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now that I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this!… But there is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun… Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty in their hearts… the person that each one is in God’s eyes. If only they could see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time. “

What if we spent this Lent opening ourselves to seeing others the way God sees them? First, we might begin with those we already love. That should be easy. Then we could stretch ourselves to include those on the periphery of our affections. Finally, we might ask for God's grace to see those we actively dislike as beloved children of God. And don't forget the challenge to see ourselves as a beloved son or daughter of God.

Personally, I can think of many easier ways to spend Lent!

But no better way to take on the heart and mind of Jesus.

by: Pat Schnee

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