2nd Sunday of Lent (B)

Gospel Mk 9: 2-10

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; from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Suddenly, looking around, they 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.

Ebanjelioa Markos 9: 2-10

2 Handik sei egunera, Jesusek Pedro, Santiago eta Joan hartu eta mendi garai batera eraman zituen aparte. Eta antzaldatu egin zen haien aurrean: jantziak distiratsu bihurtu zitzaizkion, zuri-zuri, munduan inork jar litzakeen baino zuriago. 4 Eta Elias eta Moises agertu zitzaizkien Jesusekin hizketan. 5 Pedrok esan zion Jesusi: «Maisu, zein ederki gauden hemen! Zergatik ez egin hiru etxola: bata zuretzat, bestea Moisesentzat eta bestea Eliasentzat?» Ez zekien zer esaten zuen ere, beldurrak jota baitzeuden. 7 Orduan, hodei batek estali zituen eta mintzo hau izan zen hodeitik: «Hauxe dut neure Seme maitea. Entzun berari!» 8 Eta hartan, inguruan begiratu eta Jesus bakarrik ikusi zuten berekin, eta besterik inor ez. 9 Menditik beherakoan, ikusitakoa inori ez aipatzeko agindu zien, harik eta Gizonaren Semea hildakoen artetik piztu arte. 10 Agindu hau bete zuten, baina «hildakoen artetik pizte» horrekin zer adierazi nahi ote zien ziharduten beren artean.

Only the Cross brings Life

Mark tells us that Jesus took Peter, James and John, and led them to a high mountain, where he “was transfigured before them.” These disciples seem to be the very ones who apparently posed the major resistance to Jesus when he told them of his imminent painful fate of crucifixion. Peter tried even to take this absurd idea away from Jesus’ head. While the brothers James and John demanded the highest places in the kingdom of the Messiah. It is precisely in front of them that Jesus decided to transfigure. They needed a lesson more than anyone else in the group.

The scene, recreated with various symbolic resources, is magnificent. Jesus appears “clothed” with the same glory of God. Meanwhile, Elijah and Moses, who according to the Jewish tradition, were freed from experiencing death and live already now with God, are shown conversing with Jesus. All these images invite us to see the divinity of Jesus, crucified by his enemies, but resurrected by God.

Once again, it is Peter who reacts with all spontaneity, “Lord, how good it is to be here! If you wish, I will make three tents: one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” Peter, once again, did not understand anything about Jesus. Peter even places Jesus on the same level as Elijah and Moses: each gets a tent? How nice! Again, he stubbornly resists accepting the hard way Jesus signals for Himself and his followers; Peter just wants to hold on to the glory of Tabor, moving away from the passion and the cross of the Calvary.

But, then, it is God himself that will give solemn testimony about who Jesus is: “This is my beloved Son.” Not to be mistaken with anyone else. “Listen to him” and only to HIM, even when HE talks to you about the way of the cross, because it will end up in resurrection. Only Jesus radiates light. All others, prophets and teachers, theologians and hierarchs, doctors and preachers…, their faces are pale and grim. We must not mistake anyone with Jesus. Only He is the beloved Son. His Word is the only Word we must be ready to hear and follow. Everyone else must lead us to Him.

We must listen to Him again today, when He speaks to us about “carrying the cross” of these times, without diverting our ears to false messengers and messages, like Peter wished. Success has and continues to hurt us Christians. It has taken us even to think that it is possible to build a church faithful to Jesus, bypassing the demands of the Kingdom, even without the cross. We need to share the many crosses we see around us. Open your eyes! It will help us regain our Christian identity.