Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude
Tomorrow is the 2nd Sunday of Lent & the Gospel reading chosen is that of the Transfiguration. (Mark 9. 2-10). We will include that passage & some reflections on that event, including some words of Pope Francis. The gospel gives us a very rich text & we hope that at least one of our reflections on it will help increase your appreciation of it.
The sung blessing this week is the ‘Repose Blessing’ from ‘Sacred Weave’. As you pray today, please include all those bereaved during the pandemic – almost daily, we are hearing of deaths in families known to us – some are directly COVID deaths, others not but often with a link into the situation.
On our website we have what we are calling a COVID MEMORIAL TAPESTRY. It is possible for anyone to ask for a relative or friend who has died since March 2020 through to the present, to go into that tapestry & we, as a community, have committed to pray for those people & those who mourn them.
If you would like your relative or friend to be part of the tapestry you will need to send details of name, age and date of death via the form on the website, We will then create a personal remembrance square to attach to the tapestry: Covid Memorial Tapestry – Canonesses of the Holy Sepulchre .
Love to you all
Mark 9 2-10 – Gospel of the Transfiguration.
After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. 3His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. 4And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. 5Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters-one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6(He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.) 7Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” 8Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus. 9As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant.
Pope Francis reflects on the passage.
The Transfiguration of Christ shows us the Christian perspective of suffering. Suffering is not sadomasochism: it is a necessary but transitory passage. The point of arrival to which we are called is luminous like the face of Christ Transfigured: in him is salvation, beatitude, light and the boundless love of God. By revealing his glory in this way, Jesus ensures that the cross, the trials, the difficulties with which we struggle, are resolved and overcome in Easter, in Resurrection. Thus this Lent, let us also go up the mountain with Jesus! But in what way? With prayer. Let us climb the mountain with prayer: silent prayer, heartfelt prayer, prayer that always seeks the Lord. Let us pause for some time in reflection, a little each day, let us fix our inner gaze on his countenance and let us allow his light to permeate us and shine in our life. And in God’s time we will come to the full Easter experience.
From Sacred Space:
A listening heart is a heart warmed by the love of God, and taught by his words. The one we listen to is the Son of God, Jesus transfigured in his humanity. Prayer is better described as listening than speaking. Spend some time echoing his words, or just listening to the mood of love and peace in prayer. Following Jesus up the mountain for Peter, James and John was a following in love which would be part of their lives in the future. Going up the mountain had its tough moments for the apostles, but the view at the top was worthwhile: the glory of Jesus and the invitation of God. This is the same for us in our discipleship.
Prayer can often feel like a long mountain walk! You wonder is it worth it, and you don’t always have the stamina. But if you give quality time to it, as you are doing now, it is always worthwhile. Jesus ‘took with him Peter, James and John’ and he will take you too, if you are willing to climb. Try not to be irritable and edgy as you make your way upward with him.
You may have no great spiritual experiences, but being with Jesus and listening to him brings its own reward at a deep inner level. It is in this way that we are transfigured.
They climbed a hill together,
Jesus & Peter, James & John,
to find a quiet place,
a place apart from the crowds
who were clamouring for healing,
and for Jesus to teach them more about the Kingdom of Heaven.
The demands on them had been heavy.
He had fed the hungry crowd,
healed the deaf & blind,
and raised the little daughter of Jairus who they thought was dead.
He had taught them such unusual things,
always surprising them with his stories,
and they began to wonder who he could be.
Who could do such things?
Heal as he did?
Speak such wise words in the synagogue?
And then in the quiet of that place
they began to see him differently.
They recognised that in some mysterious way
Jesus was the Son of God;
the one for whom they had waited & longed,
just as the prophets of old had waited & longed for the Messiah.
They did not understand quite what was happening,
but gradually, & oh so slowly,
they began to see that they must listen to Jesus
and learn from him,
for what he was teaching would change the world.
After this encounter with mystery,
they returned down the hill,
back to the ordinary,
back to the waiting crowds
and other requests for healing,
and answers to the question:
‘Who is this man?’
Who is this man?
How do I listen & understand & respond to his teaching?
Let me, too, find a quiet place, a place apart,
and try & enter into the mystery,
that I, too, might have a moment of recognition
and of knowing & of travelling deeper into mystery.
‘This is my Son, my beloved; listen to him.’
Let me receive these words into my heart
that my life might too be changed.