February 24, 2013

The scriptures this Sunday take us back to Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration.  We read that text a couple weeks ago, for the last Sunday of Epiphany.  This Sunday, we hear it in the context of Lent, a time during which we clean our hearts and prepare our minds for a renewed life.  When Jesus went to the Mount of Transfiguration, it was a Lenten experience for him.  He was about to go into Jerusalem and challenge the religious authorities at the Temple.  He was about to embark on Holy Week—riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, throwing the moneychangers out of the temple, praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, experiencing betrayal, instituting the Holy Supper, facing his trail and crucifixion.  To prepare for this overwhelming challenge, Jesus went up a mountain to pray.  Peter, James and John went with him, but they grew sleepy and could hardly stay awake.  To garner strength to face Jerusalem, Jesus called up Moses and Elijah, two exemplars who faced similar challenges.  Peter, James and John wanted to enshrine this "holy moment," but Jesus forbid it.  True holiness, that from which we derive strength to cope with our challenges, cannot be enshrined.
Sunday, we will look at how our holy moments, during our Lenten spiritual times, inspire us and fortify us for the challenges of living.  We will explore what is a "holy moment," how we recognize them, and how to make the most of them.