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Second Sunday of Lent - The mysterious reasons of the heart

Jesus goes up the mountain to pray. Jesus usually spends much time in prayer. It is in one of these intense spiritual moments that Jesus becomes aware that he is called to save people not through triumph but through defeat. During prayer, the aspect of his face changes. 
 
Luke does not speak of transfiguration, but of a change of the aspect of his face. This splendour is the sign of the glory that wraps one who is united to God. Even the face of Moses became brilliant when he entered into dialog with the Lord (Exodus 34:29-35). 
 
Every authentic encounter with God leaves some visible traces on the face of the person. After the celebration of the Word, we return to our houses more joyful, more serene, better, smiling and willing to be tolerant, understanding, and generous. Even our faces are relaxed and seem to emit light. 
 
The light on Jesus’ face indicates that, during prayer, he understood and owned the Father’s plan. During this spiritual experience, Moses and Elijah appear. They are symbols of the Law and the Prophets, the whole Old Testament. They enter into a dialog with Jesus; the Old Testament is oriented towards him. 
 
In the conversation with Moses and Elijah Jesus discovers that the Messiah was not destined to triumph but to defeat, that he must suffer much, be humiliated and rejected by people, as is said of the servant of the Lord (Isaiah 53). 
 
The three disciples: Peter, James, and John understand nothing of what was happening. They were sleepy. Remember that in moments of recalling the passion and death of Jesus, these three disciples are always taken by sleep. In the Garden of Olives, they sleep (Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:45). It is strange that in crucial moments their eyes are always heavy. 
 
Sleep indicates the inability of the disciples to understand and to accept that the Messiah of God must pass through death in order to enter into his glory. When Jesus performed prodigies, when the crowd acclaimed him, the apostles were awake. But when he starts talking about suffering, the necessity to occupy the last place, to become servants, they do not like to understand, they start to sleep … to continue to dream of applauses and triumphs. The three tents are indicative of their desire to stay in successes and not accept the defeats that they are to undergo. 
 
The voice from heaven says to listen to Jesus—even when he seems to propose very difficult paths, narrow roads. It is not easy to believe in the revelation of Jesus and to accept his proposal of life. It is not easy to follow him in his “exodus.”
 
The seed thrown on the ground is destined to produce many fruits, but today, it must die. The glory comes only later. When and how will this “wisdom of God” so contrary to the logic of man be assimilated? 
 
 
● Father Fernando Armellini SCJ
     Claretian Publications
bibleclaret.org
 
Translated by Father John Ledesma SDB
Abridged by Father Jijo Kandamkulathy CMF