Second Sunday of Lent

Stand up and do not fear

After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply: “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”.  While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him”. When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. But Jesus came and touched them, saying: “Rise, and do not be afraid”. And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone. As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus charged them: “Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead”. Mt 17,1-9

Peter, James and John are conducted on Mount Tabor by Jesus, who is transfigured before them and his face becomes shining like the sun. Then Moses and Elijah appear and these three pillars of salvation history start to talk among themselves. Peter, in the midst of so much holiness, would like to stay there for ever and he offers to build three tents for them. At that point, the voice of the Father from heaven is heard, announcing: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him”. Peter, James and John will also become pillars of the history of salvation, but in that heavenly context they feel inadequate and out of place, they fall to the ground and they are taken by a great  fear. Jesus then approaches them and says: “Rise and do not be afraid”.  By these words they are admitted to that holy company and at the same time their fundamental role is prophesied into the future church. It’s easy to feel inadequate in front of some models of sanctity of our time, but we should not be discouraged and fall to the ground.

Those words of Jesus “Rise and do not be afraid” today are directed to us, whenever we feel overwhelmed by a project of life which we consider too huge for our forces. We must
stand up and be upright because the Holy Spirit blows also on us: it is enough just to believe it and to make ourselves available.

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