On this second Sunday of Lent, we continue our journey of freedom and light, of prayer and conversion, towards the Lord’s Passover.
If last Sunday’s Gospel showed us Jesus up on a high mountain—subject to the temptation to abandon the ways of God, reducing his Messianic character to material satisfaction, the manipulation of God, and the quest for power and fame—this Sunday we contemplate him on another mountain, but one filled with light and glory. We see him as the beloved Son of the Father, the one whose voice we must listen and follow.
This Sunday’s Gospel, which was written according to the model of the theophanies (i.e., the divine revelations of the Old Testament), says that Jesus went up with Peter, James, and John to a mountain to pray.
The mountain is terrain that rises up vertically; it is closest to heaven, the resting place of God’s feet. As the prophet, Amos says: He “treads on the heights of the earth” (Amos 4:13). The mountains are pointing towards the mystery and depth of the cosmos, towards the infinite; they are the land that penetrates heaven. And Jesus climbs a mountain to pray.
Prayer is like climbing a mountain—not physically, but by entering into the depths of our being where we find God’s heart filled with light.
Climbing the mountain means entering within ourselves, beyond feelings and reasons, beyond all the ups and downs of daily life, carrying in our hearts the great problems of the world.
Bishop @silviojbaez writes: “Prayer is like climbing a mountain—not physically, but by entering into the depths of our being where we find God’s heart filled with light.”Tweet
Prayer is about entering within ourselves with our hands full of faces and experiences. When we pray we allow ourselves to be enlightened and transfigured by the loving and peaceful light of God who dwells within our heart, “in its deepest center” (Cf Saint John of the Cross, The Living Flame Of Love)
Indeed, while Jesus was praying, his face changed appearance. Prayer is transforming: it transforms you into what you contemplate, what you hear, and what you love—and you become like the One to whom you pray. Psalm 34 says: “Look to him, and be radiant!”(Ps 34:5).
Silvio José Báez, o.c.d.
Auxiliary Bishop of Managua
Homily, Second Sunday of Lent, 17 March 2019 (excerpt)
Our Lady of the Assumption Parish, Managua
Translation from the Spanish text is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission.
Shared to my Parish FB group (I am informal hon FB sec), with this comment: “This Bishop is always very much worth reading. On today’s Gospel”.
Thanks so much!