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by Francis Fernandez-Carvajal March 12, 2019 3 min read

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2nd Week of Lent: From Tabor to Calvary

By Francis Fernandez-Carvajal

2/12.1 The important thing is to be always with Jesus. He will help us to progress.

Of you my heart has spoken: Seek his face. It is your face, O Lord, that I seek; hide not your face from me, we pray in the Entrance Antiphon of today’s Mass.[981] The Gospel tells us what happened on Mount Tabor. Shortly before, in Caesarea Philippi, Jesus had declared to his disciples that he was to undergo suffering in Jerusalem, that he was going to die at the hands of the chief priests, the elders and the Scribes. The Apostles had been saddened and dismayed by this announcement. Now Jesus took with him Peter, James and John, and he led them apart[982] to pray.[983] They are the three disciples who later will witness his agony in the Garden of Olives. And as he was praying, the appearance of his countenance was altered, and his raiment became dazzling white.[984] They saw him talking to Elijah and Moses who appeared in glory and spoke of his death which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem.[985]

For six days the Apostles had been weighed down by sorrow by the announcement made in Caesarea Philippi. It is Jesus’ tenderness that enables them to contemplate his glorification. St Leo the Great says that, The principal aim of the Transfiguration was to banish from the disciples’ souls the scandal of the Cross.[986] The disciples would never forget this drop of honey that Jesus gave them in the midst of his grief. Many years later, St Peter would recall these moments in all their clarity: And the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,’ we heard this voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.[987] The Apostle was to remember them for the rest of his life.

Jesus always behaves in this way towards his own. In the midst of the greatest sufferings he gives us the consolation we need to keep going forward.

The flash of God’s glory transported the disciples into a state of immense happiness. It made St Peter exclaim: Master, it is well that we are here, let us make three booths ... Peter wants to make that situation last longer. But, as the Evangelist was to say later, not knowing what he said, because what is good, what really matters, is not to be in this place or that, but always to be with Jesus, wherever we are, and to be able to see him behind all the circumstances in which we may find ourselves. If we are with him, it is all the same whether we find ourselves surrounded by the greatest consolations in the world, or in a hospital bed suffering indescribable pain. The only thing that matters is that we always see Him and live in his presence. It is the only really good and important thing in this life and in the next. If we remain with Jesus, we will be very close to other people and we will be happy in whatever place or situation we may find ourselves. Vultum tuum, Domine, requiram. I want to see you and I will seek your face, Lord, in the ordinary circumstances of each day.

[981] Entrance Antiphon, Ps 26:8-9

[982] cf Mark 9:2

[983] cf Luke 9:28

[984] Luke 9:29

[985] cf Luke 9:31

[986] St Leo the Great, Sermon 51, 3

[987] 2 Pet 1:17-18

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Francis Fernandez-Carvajal,

Rev. Francis Fernandez-Carvajal

Rev. Francis Fernández-Carvajal is a Priest of the Opus Dei Prelature and the author of many popular spiritual works. His seven-volume series In Conversation with God provides over 500 meditations to be used throughout the liturgical year. It has sold over 2 million copies and has been translated into many languages.



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