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2nd Sunday of Lent - March 12, 2017


Traducir al Español

By Deacon Jeff Mevissen

 

The context of the Transfiguration is the passion prediction in which Jesus tells his disciples he must go to Jerusalem there to suffer greatly at the hands of the Jewish Authorities.  Jesus predicts he is to be put to death and raised on the third day.  The Transfiguration with the passion prediction reveals the suffering of Jesus and his resurrection are two sides of one mystery: the Paschal Mystery.  Moses appears to indicate that righteousness in Jesus is more than the Law could ever deliver.  The presence of Elijah indicates that Jesus reconciles us to God in a perfect way that the prophets could never replicate.

 

If Jesus is bound to go the Jerusalem to suffer and die, does this make him a captive to his destiny?  Absolutely not!  In the Gospel of John, 10:18, Jesus says, “No one takes my life from me, I lay it down freely.”  Likewise on the cross Jesus says, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”  When Jesus was tempted in the desert, he revealed what kind of Messiah he would be – not one who came to be served but to serve and offer his life for all.

 

We can contemplate the “Yes” that Mary offered to God when the Angel Gabriel visited her and revealed that God had chosen her to be the mother of His Son.  God did not force her to comply but waited for her reply: “I am the servant of the Lord,” Mary said,  “be it done to me according to your word.”  Mary models for us what the penitential season of Lent means – to seek God’s will instead of our own – to be totally available to God.

 

I was asked to become a deacon, not by Gabriel the Archangel, but by Fr. ‘Rick.  And it took him three attempts not the one that gained the Blessed Virgin’s consent.  At that time, pursuing a career, and raising five kids - it is not like I was looking for a new commitment to occupy my time.  Yet at this point I know I was meant to be a deacon and I see the hand of providence that equipped me for this ministry.

 

Does God’s will for our life constrain our freedom?  No more than the road constrains the freedom of your car.  You can try driving through the woods but good luck with that.  Our true happiness lies in cooperating with God’s grace in our life.  A beautiful prayer we can repeat throughout the day is, “Incline my heart according to your will, O God.  Speed my steps along your path.”

Jeffrey Archer wrote a book on the mountain climber, George Mallory: Paths of Glory.  Mallory had his heart set on gaining the summit of Mt. Everest – the highest peak in the world.  In 1922, Mallory was leading a group on Everest that was smothered by an avalanche – seven Sherpa porters died.  Mallory was personally crushed by this tragedy and told his wife, Ruth, he was done with Everest.  Ruth noted, however that the gleam was lost in his eye, the wind from his sails.  Fully aware of the danger of his expeditions, Ruth told her husband that the mountain was his path of glory – that he should live his passion.  That was brave on the part of Ruth because in fact George died on the Mountain in 1924.  Despite the tragic death of George on the mountain – should we not emulate Ruth to help each other find our Path of Glory?