6th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Jas 3:1- 10
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you realize that we will be judged more strictly, for we all fall short in many respects. If anyone does not fall short in speech, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also. If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we also guide their whole bodies. It is the same with ships: even though they are so large and driven by fierce winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot’s inclination wishes. In the same way the tongue is a small member and yet has great pretensions. Consider how small a fire can set a huge forest ablaze. The tongue is also a fire. It exists among our members as a world of malice, defiling the whole body and setting the entire course of our lives on fire, itself set on fire by Gehenna. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this need not be so.
Gospel: Mk 9:2-13
Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified. Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; then from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Suddenly, looking around, the disciples no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them. As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant. Then they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” He told them, “Elijah will indeed come first and restore all things, yet how is it written regarding the Son of Man that he must suffer greatly and be treated with contempt? But I tell you that Elijah has come and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.”
“This is my beloved Son. Listen to him”: The transfiguration of our Lord takes place within a week since the foretelling by Jesus of his passion, crucifixion, death and resurrection. This manifestation of the divine glory of Jesus provides the much required counterbalance to the scandalized apostles. The appearance of Moses and Elijah representing respectively the law and the prophecy, the summary of OT, the presence of the cloud representing the presence of God and above all the voice of God- ‘This is my beloved Son, listen to him,’ make this event a supreme manifestation of the divine glory of Jesus. This experience prepares the apostles to listen to Jesus and accept the humiliation of the cross before the glory of the resurrection happens. The manifestation is timely and appropriate because prior, the apostles had a challenge accepting a suffering Christ. When things do not go well, do we accept a suffering Christ and suffering as God’s plan for us?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to attentively listen to you and to put into practice what I learn from you.
TAKE TIME TO LISTEN: As Christians all are called to follow the Lord at all costs, but we can only do that when we empty ourselves of our pride and ego, so we can be filled by his grace. The transfiguration event is an affirmation of God’s glory in Jesus. In his transfiguration, Jesus was confirmed by his Father and had affirmed his role in the salvation event. Two important figures of our faith—Moses and Elijah—stood side by side with Jesus, a signal that the prophecy has been fulfilled. The apostles were overwhelmed by the vision; thus, Peter’s immediate reaction was really to enjoy such event and offered Jesus that he would build three tents for them. But a voice from a bright cloud was heard saying: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” The transfiguration of Jesus has given us a loud and strong order from his Father, which is to listen to his beloved son. Let us listen to the voice of the Lord that unfolds and reveals to us every day, in every event of our daily life in the people we meet and relate.