The Second Sunday of Lent, 5th March 2023

Matthew 17:1–9

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”


The three disciples were privileged to see Jesus in glory, to recognize that their friend could be fully present to them and to God. The experience of the three disciples is a wonderful journey. And today, let us be with three of them and to take part in the journey with Jesus again.

The time of the journey begins at “Six days later”. It refers to six days after Jesus telling his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me…Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom (Matthew 16:24-28).” Thus, our journey with Jesus begins with our becoming of his followers. How can we become his followers? We become his followers when we deny ourselves and take up our cross to follow him. It has three elements: denying ourselves, taking up our cross and following him. And Lent is good time to practice these three elements. We pray, fast and giving alms to follow the Jesus’ example as told in the Gospel of last Sunday. It marks the beginning of our journey. Today, we follow Jesus. He takes us to another stage of the journey.

The next stage of the journey is about trust. The disciples trusted Jesus, so they followed him to wherever he took them to. Can I trust Jesus? Can I follow his lead? Would I allow Jesus to lead me to a very high mountain where he and I can be alone? Could I switch off my smartphone, turn off my computer and or TV set for some period of time everyday during Lent so that I can be with Jesus alone?

Apart from the disciples, two other fore-runners of the Incarnation, Moses and Elijah, were at the Transfiguration. Jesus in glory talked to them. For us, all the saints of the Church are fore-runners of the second coming of Jesus. They are our examples and models of how we should live our lives.

It is the very human nature that we share with Peter wishing to stay forever in glorious moments. We enjoy the blessing of our Lord God but we are reluctant to take up Jesus’ cross. Unlike us, Jesus is willing to take up the cross. Because of his willingness to take up the cross, he was experienced as beloved son of God through a voice from a bright cloud overshadowed them. Can I hear the voice of God? How do I feel when I hear God speaking to me?

Jesus comforted his overwhelming disciples by saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” He uses these same words to comfort us who are overwhelmed by our burdens, sufferings and wounds.

The last stage of the journey is returning to ordinary living. The three disciples had experienced something so extraordinary. Such an experience became a deep memory. With that memory, they would one day be able to testify for Jesus. Do I have such a close encounter with God experience in my memory? How this memory sustains me to live for Him? Amen.