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Gospel text (Mk 9,2-13):
Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain. There his appearance was changed before their eyes. Even his clothes shone, becoming as white as no bleach of this world could make them. Elijah and Moses appeared to them; the two were talking with Jesus.
Then Peter spoke and said to Jesus, "Master, it is good that we are here; let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah". For he did not know what to say; they were overcome with awe. But a cloud formed, covering them in a shadow, and from the cloud came this word, "This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him". And suddenly, as they looked around, they no longer saw anyone except Jesus with them.
As they came down the mountain, He ordered them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man be risen from the dead. So they kept this to themselves, although they discussed with one another what ‘to rise from the dead’ could mean.
Finally they asked him, "Why then do the teachers of the Law say that Elijah must come first?". Jesus answered them, "Of course, Elijah will come first so that everything may be as it should be... But, why do the Scriptures say that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be despised? I tell you that Elijah has already come and they have treated him as they pleased, as the Scriptures say of him".
"He ordered them to tell no one what they had seen"
Today, the Transfiguration in Mark's Gospel presents us an already solved enigma. Saint Mark's evangelic texts are full of messianic secrets, of isolated moments where Jesus forbids telling no one what He might have done. Today, and right here, we have a “sample”. When Jesus "ordered them (his disciples) to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man be risen from the dead" (Mk 9:9).
But, what, does this Messianic Secret consist of? The messianic secret consists in lifting the veil a little to slightly reveal what is hidden below; for the whole mystery will only be totally uncovered, in the light of his Paschal Mystery, when Jesus' last days are over. We can see it clearly in this Gospel: Transfiguration is just a moment, a taste of glory, to give the apostles the possibility to decipher the meaning of that intimate moment.
Jesus had announced his disciples the imminent moment of His Passion, but upon seeing them so perturbed because of his tragic final, He explains with words and facts how his last days would be: days of passion and death, but days that will be over with his resurrection. Here is the enigma unraveled. Saint Thomas Aquinas says: "To properly walk one's way it takes one to know first, somehow, the target one is aiming at".
Our Christian lives have also an aim uncovered by our Lord Jesus Christ: to enjoy God's unfailing love forever and ever. But this target will not be lacking in moments of sacrifice and crucial pains. However, we have to remember the live message of today's Gospel: in this apparent blind alley which, so often, seems to be our life, because of our fidelity to God, and while spending our life immerse and living in the spirit of the Beatitudes, the tragic ending will be cracked to give way to our enjoying God eternally.
Fr. Xavier ROMERO i Galdeano
(Cervera, Lleida, Spain)
Audio: Saturday 6th in Ordinary Time
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