The webpage of the Youth Ministry of the Irish Province of Augustinians

2nd Sunday of Lent, Year B - 4th of March 2012

I have never been very good with my hands and when it comes to machines or cars I can only plead total ignorance.  Luckily, I have been blessed with people who have always helped me with these things.  One thing that I always notice, however, is that they invariably invite me to look at the workings of the machine or under the car bonnet.  Why?  I have no idea what I am looking at!  Even though I am lost, however, something about how the car works becomes some way clearer to me.  Even though I would not be able to repair the car I notice that over the years I do actually recognise some parts of the engine and can sometimes even hazard a guess when the car is making some noise that it shouldn't.

When Jesus was transfigured on top of the mountain Peter and John had no idea what they were looking at.  Their reaction was to latch on to what they could see - they could see that they were in the presence of greatness.  Their offer to provide tents for Jesus, Moses and Elijah seems to me to be an attempt to do something, anything, when faced with an unforeseen and uncomfortable situation.  They offer accomodation; they offer hospitality although this is obviously not what is called for.

Nonetheless, they have had a significant experience.  Their exposure to the vision that was presented to them must have remained with them.  Sometimes we all need time to process what we have been through.  Even though we don't understand things something invariably seeps through even though it may not make complete sense at the time.

Similarly, the apostles could not possibly have grasped a full understanding of what they had seen.  This would only make sense for them after they had experienced the resurrection.  The many references that Jesus made to his forthcoming passion, death and resurrection would only be gradually pieced together after the events had taken place.

We can sometimes be reluctant to be faced with things that we cannot understand.  Today's gospel reading is a reminder to us that when it comes to God we are always in the presence of something that is greater than we are.  This, however, is never a reason to withdraw.  It is an invitaton to draw closer, engage with the mystery and trust that God will guide us.


Article posted on 3rd of March 2012

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