To me there seems to be an endless number of surprises when we meditate on Holy Scripture! In today’s gospel, we hear that Elijah and Moses appeared and talked with Jesus. First, notice the location of this meeting. Moses had stayed on a mountaintop for forty days, covered by the glory of the Lord (Ex 24:18), and he conversed with God (Ex 34:27-28). Then he came down the mountain with a radiant face (Ex 34:29-30).
Elijah had walked forty days to get to the very same mountaintop, where he also spoke with God (l K 19:8ff). Now we see Jesus on a mountaintop; another theophany (manifestation of God’s presence) happens (Mk 9:2-10), and Jesus is radiantly transfigured. This scene is significantly different, however. This time God the Father’s voice comes from the cloud saying, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to Him.” The voice was directed to the three apostles – and to you and me!
The locations of these encounters reveals to us that we need to find a quiet place to be alone with God, so that we can hear God. It doesn’t get much quieter than on a mountaintop or out in the desert! But with noisy distractions absent, we are able to focus on the One who really counts: our Creator and Redeemer. So, in our daily lives we need to listen to him!
In our spiritual life we need to provide time and space to be alone with God. However, we may not have ready access to a mountaintop or desert every day. But there is an even better place available to us – for Catholics, a chapel or church where the Blessed Sacrament is reposed in a quiet setting. For others, a quiet church, or a very special, restful place (indoors or outdoors). If we seek this place where we know He is present, and quiet our minds in his presence, He will indeed speak to our hearts.
This special “sacred space” can even be a special “prayer corner” in your home or unit. The cloud from where the voice came reveals the presence of the Holy Spirit, and Peter provides an eyewitness story of that event (2 Peter 1:16-18).
Some things to consider during Lent. Do you read and reflect on some scripture readings each day with the rest of the Christians seeking Christ? If not, then how do you know what he is saying to you? Those three words from the cloud are a command to us- we must: Listen to Him!