Lent, Second Sunday(transfiguration)

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The transfiguration is always an interesting reading with many details that each individually tell a subtly different emphasis to that transfiguration of Christ witnessed by those apostles on that mountaintop. It can be the placement of the story within the gospel that gives emphasis to a journey and also a learning curve. It can be the mention of pitching the tents, and the meaning of tents within the Jewish tradition. It can emphasize the epiphany and those words spoken, “this is my beloved Son.” Every detail, and every line of that testament is rich with meaning.

Sometimes though, it is rewarding to simple look at that story at its most simple element. It is the Transfiguration of Jesus where the Apostils witness Jesus as divine and hear him announced as the Son of God. It is interesting to look at that gospel account, and also to look at where that gospel is being proclaimed. It is the gospel reading being proclaimed at Mass during the liturgy of the word. What makes that interesting is that proclamation can be taken as part of a timeline, it concludes the first half of the liturgy. Following that part of the liturgy is that liturgy of the Eucharist where bread and wine is transfigured, or more properly transubstantiated into the body and blood of Christ. In looking at that transfiguration on a mountaintop in the context of the Mass, one can view that event not simply as an historical account but rather as something we too witness within the Mass. We take that journey as the Mass processes from beginning to conclusion, and we can envision those tents through the tabernacle and more importantly within ourselves. We hear those words, “this is my beloved Son” as “behold, the Body of Christ. This is Jesus who takes away the sins of the world.” Upon reception of communion, we walk with Christ to continue that journey.

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