Christian life involves prayer and community
Gospel Reflection for the 2nd Sunday of Lent Year C – February 24th 2013
Full scripture for this Sunday is available on our parish website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.
Jesus took with him Peter and John and James and went up the mountain to pray. As he prayed, the aspect of his face was changed and his clothing became brilliant as lightning. Suddenly there were two men there talking to him; they were Moses and Elijah appearing in glory, and they were speaking of his passing which he was to accomplish in Jerusalem. Peter and his companions were heavy with sleep, but they kept awake and saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As these were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, ‘Master, it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah’. – He did not know what he was saying. As he spoke, a cloud came and covered them with shadow; and when they went into the cloud the disciples were afraid. And a voice came from the cloud saying, ‘This is my Son, the Chosen One. Listen to him.’ And after the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. The disciples kept silence and, at that time, told no one what they had seen.
Things are not always as they seem. Under the church where I work is a series of underground passages for about a mile! People the same – talking to someone and they tell you they are very ill, or recovered from addiction…you see more to them. Or you find out that someone you thought little of visits an elderly person every week. People are not always as they seem. The mountain visit was the same: the apostles saw Jesus – son of God, radiant in prayer, and in the middle of it all the Passion was announced. They saw the person behind the face.
The big truth of Jesus is that he is intimately united to God the Father. So following him is not just action, but prayer that leads to action. We say someone is a great Christian – he or she helps the poor. Christianity is more – it is also prayer and the Eucharist. While we are thankful for the good lives of many people, we also can say that the full Christian life includes prayer.
It also involves community – the three were called to witness and help each other remember the Lord Jesus. Community brings the word of God alive in a real way. The gospel in the community of the church bring us to fuller faith.
Prayer and Action
Prayer leads to action for others, and action leads back to prayer. We can be so close to heavenly things that we are no earthly good. Lent brings us into this mystery of the death and resurrection of the Lord – we are part of this, and we try to make life a resurrection-grace for others. We can transfigure the lives of other, or disfigure. Let’s be people of the transfiguration.
Lord show me your face – in myself and in others. Amen
Donal Neary SJ