Keeping Silent 

Reading      Luke 9:28-36


Jesus took with him Peter, James and John and went up on the mountain to pray.

And while he was praying,

the appearance of his face changed, 

and his clothes became dazzling white.

Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

They appeared in glory and were speaking of his exodus,

which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.




Imagine what an invitation to spend a night in prayer with Jesus on Mount Tabor would be like for you? We are all familiar with Jesus going off to a solitary place to be alone with his Father. However, at this stage of his ministry he invites his chosen three - Peter, James and John - to come with him to the top of the Mountain. These disciples were devoted to him and promised to stand by him no matter what. They were only human and would need inner strengthening and courage to face the trials ahead. He would call them apart and share special time with them. After the long climb to the summit they must have relaxed and grown weary, shared some food and took in the magnificent view of the valley.  


Jesus began to pray... and suddenly, a most marvellous 'transfiguration' happened in which his divinity was manifested and there he was before their eyes, radiant in glory with light emanating from his face and his garments dazzling white. In shock and awe, they beheld the very light and love of God. They became aware now that his compassion for the poor and little ones, his healings and all the wonderful new teachings of their Rabbi were really God's messages for the human family. Their hearts were ready to burst with the fullness of it all!


Presently, they became aware that they were not alone; besides themselves were other spectators of the vision. As their eyes grew more accustomed to the dazzling brightness, they discerned two men standing on either side of Jesus and they too seemed filled with light. Dazed though they were, they gradually perceived that these two men were Moses of the Old Law and the Prophet Elijah. They were having serious discussion about the imminent future for Jesus. The Gospel story tells us  that "they had stayed awake" and thus they were able to take in this mystical moment and allow it to just be in all its splendour and transforming grace.


In Peter's spontaneous joy he prays aloud from his heart, "Master it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings..."  Yes this is a peak, mountain-top religious experience and in a natural overflow speaking from his spirit, Peter wishes the moment could last forever. These three knew they were being gifted with profound enlightenment into the Divinity of Jesus Christ, their friend and Master.   


And then even as Peter's voice broke the mysterious silence, something yet stranger came upon them. The light in which they were enveloped seemed itself to be covered in a cloud. The cloud came down upon them and overshadowed them. In some mystical way they seemed themselves to be taken up within it. Enveloped in the glory of God, they knelt there paralyzed in awe. From the midst of the cloud a voice was heard: "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him."


This theophany on Mt. Tabor was beyond what any human had ever experienced before and they were speechless before it. They would keep silent as the mystery of Jesus' humanity-divinity would, over the years, deepen and penetrate into the very fibres of their beings. The words and experience would become flesh in their very own lives and they knew intuitively that they had gone beyond words. They would keep listening to Him, now with ever more attentive fervour! They walked down in silence with Jesus from the mountain that early morning. Their minds were filled with the wonders of the night. The vision they had seen was for the present at least, for themselves alone. They kept the secret of that night-watch to themselves pondering it in their hearts. They joined the other disciples and went about their daily work. We too must leave our mountain-tops and return to live our faith in the daily valley experiences of meeting each other's needs and trying to heal and bless and love one another. 


Let us pray especially during this Lenten season that all who hear the call to climb to the heights with Jesus will set out on that ascent. May we stretch ourselves beyond the limits of our egos and have the veil pulled aside so that we can gaze upon the incredible beauty of every creature made in the image of God.


Carrying Grace    Let me look up and see only JESUS in every person I meet today.





#3 arletteh 2010-03-03 09:49
The word that stayed in my heart was:exodus.What will be ,this Lent,my continued journey from slavery to freedom?
I am , at this time in my life having a "kairos" revelation:that seeming opposites are really all connected, part of the reality of life:life and death,darkness and light,joy and sorrow.The "material" and the "spiritual" are really one:Jesus was transfigured,an d along with that, his clothes,too, shone like the sun.It was as Jesus was having a conversation about his exodus that he became transfigured.Th e outcome of his life, suffering and death was already a given:Glory!As margaretmary said we are filled with God's glory!If only we could see that in each other!
#2 mdickinson 2010-03-02 19:04
In my role as co-administrato r for the website, I apologize for the accidental deletions of all comments to this particular posting. I was trying to find a way to eliminate comments which appear as duplicated when they are updated/revised . The problem is still under review .. I have elevated it to "an expert" more qualified than I. Once again, however, I apologize to all those contributors who posted comments to this weekly reflection .. and I sincerely regret that these comments were deleted accidentally. I will endeavor to correct the problem properly so it does not occur again.
#1 arletteh 2010-03-02 14:17
Jesus was speaking of his exodus,with Moses and Elijah and as he did ,he was transfigured,an d his clothes became dazzling white. I am experiencing at this time a tremendous breakthrough(ka iros time),as I learn that everything is connected:darkn ess and light, suffering and joy, life and death,material and spiritual.Marve lous!Incomprehe nsible,yet it makes so much sense!The outcome of Jesus' exodus is already decided:glory. Jesus' clothes were transfigured, even as Jesus himself was!I believe in angels:they are to me messengers of the unity of the material and the spiritual!How meaningful our lives!

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