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Since 1732, the Redemptorists — a congregation of missionary priests and brothers — have followed in Jesus’ footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned.
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Lenten reflection, second Sunday

Today Jesus leads us up Mount Tabor with Peter, James, and John. In the Bible a mountain was often the place to meet God. Both Moses and Elijah encountered God on mountains: Moses on Mount Sinai and Elijah on Mount Carmel.

On Mount Tabor, Jesus meets not only Moses and Elijah but also His Heavenly Father. There Jesus reveals His true identity to the disciples. They see Jesus’ face all aglow and His garments dazzlingly white. They see Him talk with Moses and Elijah. The climax of the Transfiguration comes after a cloud covers the mountain, when the Father speaks: “This is My beloved Son. Listen to Him.”

The experience on Mount Tabor was meant to prepare the disciples for what was coming: the journey to Jerusalem and Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection. Jesus had tried to tell them that He must suffer and die for our salvation.

Peter does not want to leave. He wants to freeze the moment, but Jesus leads them down the mountain.

We all have mountaintop experiences, great moments when our faith is deepened, and we feel close to God. Those moments of grace are great, but the life of faith is lived on level ground. If we learn to experience God in the everyday moments of life, we will surely grow in faith.

Father John Murray, C.Ss.R.
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Scripture readings for today: Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18; Psalm 27; Philippians 3:17–4:1; Luke 9:28-36