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2nd Sunday of Lent - Cycle B

Mark 9:2-10

“Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.” (Mark 9:2)

In Scripture, mountains are places to meet God because they are “closer to God” who dwells in the heavens above. As a result, God often reveals himself on a mountaintop in scripture. In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus is transfigured before Peter, James, and John atop a mountain, revealing his full divinity to them. As Peter, James, and John stand awestruck, Peter tries to capture the moment by offering to build tents for them to dwell in. Before Peter can do anything, a cloud overshadows them, and a voice tells them, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”

From the beginning of salvation history, we see that mountains are a special place to communicate with Heaven. Even in our first reading, Abraham ascends Mount Moriah to sacrifice his son. These “mountaintop experiences” set the tone for Lent as a time to ease ourselves out of the hustle and bustle of everyday activity to pray quietly, fervently seeking God's will, and then asking for the strength to make it our own. On our "mountain," we can rethink priorities, set goals, and evaluate our relationship with God and with others. It is also a time for realizing that God is God and I am not. God is waiting for us to come and know Him more intimately.

We must ascend our own personal mountain to receive the Lord. If you’ve ever hiked a mountain, you would know the task is easiest when you pack lightly. The same is true for our climb toward God, where we must shed ourselves of material things that weigh us down to find the Lord. Lent is a perfect time to shed these things and quiet our minds so we, too, may find ourselves alone with Jesus.

These mountaintop experiences, like Peter's, James', and John's, are fleeting moments in time. These moments are opportunities to pause that renew us. Then, when we descend from the mountain and face the ups and downs of life, we will find ourselves better equipped to persist. I pray that this Lenten journey may act as our ascent to the mountaintop, where we are graced with an encounter with Jesus.


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