Conversion must be our goal. MARK 9:2–10
By Pearl Alfred
Jesus in the transfiguration manifested the glory of God. In the same way, He wants us to transform our lives now, so that we will see Him in His glory when we meet Him face to face on the last day.
God created human life as seen in a garden in the book of Genesis – The Garden of Eden. In Revelation, there is another garden – Paradise – where believers hope to live for all eternity.
Between these two gardens, there is yet another one – Gethsemane where suffering took place. Many persons testify of their conversion after suffering.
On this second Sunday of Lent, Jesus and His friends Peter, James and John are up on a mountain. A voice from the cloud addressed Jesus, “This is My Son the Beloved. Listen to Him” (Mk 9:7).
In comparison, at Jesus’ baptism, the Spirit, symbolised by a dove, rested on Jesus with an announcement from Heaven: “This is My Son the Beloved, my favour rests on Him” (Mt 3:17).
What is observed in these two instances is that there is a revelation of Jesus’ identity and God’s fatherly love.
In preparing ourselves to reach Paradise, we need affirmation of our own identity and there is the need to affirm others of theirs. We are all God’s children, made in the image and likeness of Himself. We must let others know how we appreciate them and their efforts.
We are all God’s work of art referred to in Ephesians 2:10. The passage also expresses how God loves us and we must love others too.
Jesus and His friends had a mountaintop experience. Elijah, the prophet, and Moses representing the Law, appeared to Jesus and the men. Real drama took place.
Peter, at his wits end spoke to Jesus, “Let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah” (Mk 9:5). Fear makes people’s heart flutter. They utter what comes first to mind – impulsive speech.
To crown it further, a cloud overshadowed Jesus and the men. When the cloud disappeared, the men realised they were alone with Jesus. However, they were convinced they had heard a voice and what was said by the voice. They had to wait till the Resurrection of Jesus to fully understand all about Jesus.
We are all a work in progress, and it takes much adventure before we understand our real vocation and its demands from us.
Those bewildered men realised that Jesus was no ordinary man. They adjusted their lives and continued to follow Him. Transformation is not an easy task.
Walking hand in hand with Jesus does not exempt us from unexpected drama. At times, the incidents crop up suddenly with lots of heartache and suffering. Having the relationship with Jesus makes all the difference.
When daddy is around, the child’s confidence gets a boost, and all fear subsides. That is why it is very devastating to read how moms or dads abuse their children. How could those children understand and accept a Heavenly Father’s love?
Our “Abba”, the epitome of love, sent His Son Jesus, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit who never leaves us. We are called to hear, listen, and obey the voice of the Holy One of God.
Whether we are on top of the mountain or down in the valley, Jesus is present, calling us to surrender all our fears and doubts, joys and sorrows, disappointments, and achievements to His loving care.
We are called in this time of Lent to deny ourselves of the pleasures of the flesh, and to exercise self-control, wash hands, wear our masks in observing the protocol of those in authority. The power of the Holy Spirit will help us to make the right choices. We are too weak to depend on our own inclinations.
Let us be joyful with Jesus in our worship and prayerful in our lifestyle as we glorify Him. We must be happy with ourselves and in turn make others happy and stay faithful in receiving Jesus in the Eucharist.
Conversion must be our goal at the beginning of each day.
The gospel reflections for February were by Pearl Clarke Alfred, a parishioner of St Francis of Assisi RC Church, Sangre Grande. She is also a member of The Community of Franciscan House of Prayer, Sangre Grande, and a retired school principal.