February 27, 2010


2nd Sunday of Lent
Luke 9:28b-36


In the structure of Luke's Gospel, Jesus' Transfiguration takes place immediately after the first time he predicts his suffering and crucifixion (9:22). It follows by another prediction of suffering (9:44). All of these lead to the turning point in Jesus' earthly life and ministry in 9:51. There, Luke reports, "When the days for his being taken up were fulfilled, [Jesus] resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem." The footnote of the New American Bible offers a more literal translation, namely, "He he set his face" toward Jerusalem. [1]

Clearly, the Transfiguration prepares Jesus and the disciples for what he is about to do in order to fulfill the Father's will. It gives Jesus the strength and renews his conviction to complete his life mission. It also prepares the disciples to endure what they do not expect.

The disciples witness the Lord's glory in the context of the faith tradition, represented by Moses and Elijah, and in the community of Jesus' followers, even when they are struggling in faith. Moreover, they have Jesus himself in their midst as he leads them in prayer and reveals to them his mission. And, they have the testimony of God on behalf of God's chosen Son.

As we know how the story ends, Jesus' Transfiguration indeed prepares Jesus for his mission, and enable the disciples, who are weak in faith, to eventually accomplish theirs.

[1] http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/luke/luke9.htm#foot24

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