2nd Sunday of Lent Year A - 5/3/2023 - Gospel: Mat 17:1-9
Whether we like it or not our physical body continues to change; because it is a natural part of living. We can't stop it, but persistence in diet and daily exercise would have some effect in changing. For children, change is needed because it is the process of growing; for adults, it is the process of maturing. We can see changes from the outer, not the inner. Our spiritual life also changes daily, and we don't recognize it because it is invisible for naked eye. When we take Jesus' teaching seriously, the change pulls us closer to God. When our life enjoins God, our spiritual life would reflect the brightness of God. It may be hidden from our eyes, but our hearts have peace, and minds at ease. The apostles had this kind of experience up in the mountain, and they joyfully expressed this state of blessed,

'It is wonderful for us to be here' Mt 17,4.

The apostles expressed their desire to stay in that moment forever. They were happy and volunteered to make tents to stay. Jesus asked them to return to the mission field. The 'wonderful place' is theirs, but not now, because Jesus' saving mission on earth has not yet been completed.

We recall the temptation of Jesus. In two out of three temptations, the devil tried to make Jesus doubt the existence of God. Jesus refused to reveal who He was. He now showed His true identity to His chosen apostles. He was transfigured,

'His face shone like the sun and his clothes became as white as the light' Mt 17,3.

This was the first time the apostles had experienced Jesus' majestic brightness. This brightness alone would reveal the true Jesus' identity. The apostles then heard the voice from the cloud which revealed their physical eyes could not perceive. The voice confirmed Jesus' true identity.

'This is my Son, the Beloved; he enjoys my favour. Listen to him' Mt 17,6.

Jesus is not simply an ordinary God's Son, but He is the Beloved Son. In the past, God made the Covenant with the chosen people through Moses and Elijah; today God made the New Covenant with God's chosen people through God's only Son; Jesus who is the New Covenant. The chosen people are those who confess Jesus is their Lord and God. The leaders of the New and the Old Covenant meet face-to-face for the first time.

The calling 'listen to him' implied that Jesus' mission is to care for God's chosen people, and the Father's favour rests on Him, which implies the Father would never leave Him alone in his mission. Jesus has the full divine authority status. The Father himself acts through Jesus.

The apostles seem to fail in understanding the heavenly language; they interrupted the conversation between Jesus and Moses. We don't know what the conversations were about, but through the work of Jesus, we believed they were talking about Jesus' mission. He had his own way of carrying out God's plan to save mankind. He led the people to the 'New Promised Land' which is now known as 'My Father's House'.

His chosen race has a universal implication that includes those who listen to his voice and act on them. Jesus understands the heavenly language because He is both divine and human.

Hearing God's voice, the apostles fell on their faces, overcome with fear. This implies we, humans, are not yet able to hear God's voice from on high; but must wait until we finish this earthly journey.

The calling to listen to Jesus means we hear the divine voice through the human voice of Jesus. Listening to Jesus means listening to the Father. Jesus touched the apostles and told them 'Do not be afraid', and led them down from the mountain. Jesus told them to

'say nothing about the vision until the Son of Man has risen from the dead' Mt 17,9.

This final instruction means to say nothing until they fully understand. This full understanding comes not before, but after

'The Son of Man has risen from the dead'.