Eucharistic Readings for the Last Sunday After the Epiphany: Year A
Exodus 24:12-18 Psalm 2 or Psalm 99 2 Peter 1:16-21 Matthew 17:1-9
“As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” (Matthew 17:9)
Peter, James and John are picked to go up the mountain with our Lord Jesus. I would think it was because they are the ones that could keep quiet about what was going to happen except that Peter was included. None the less, these three were called out from the others to go to a special place with Jesus.
I’m guessing they were informed about who Moses and Elijah were given that that both were historic figures and there were no “photographs” of them. So this was the revelation given to them by the Cloud of all knowing.
And after the experience of the Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus; the revelation Cloud of all knowing; the voice of God, and then being told to not tell anyone, was asking a lot. But in hindsight, we can see why these stories were actually written much later and in a different language (Greek). Today there is a church built on the site where the Transfiguration supposedly took place and it is called the Church of the Transfiguration located on Mount Tabor in Galilee of Israel.
Being told not to talk about something gives one time to process what happened. Today we say that the introvert processes quietly while the extrovert processes by “talking it out.” This might be the reason for taking these three, but then there again, there is Peter. Peter can’t hold back even in the midst of the Transfiguration. Peter said, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” (Matthew 17:4)
So Jesus took with him both the extrovert and the introvert. Jesus takes with him both you and me. We are invited to see God Incarnate who is the fulfillment of the Law (Moses) and the Prophets (Elijah). Moses didn’t want to go but was sent anyway. Elijah was all in, even taunting the prophets of Baal, “At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” (1 Kings 18:27)
So God calls any of us to do the Lord’s work. Be attentive therefore, Our Lord will call you also to have that mountain top experience. Dr Martin Luther King Jr. says that he experienced it in his kitchen after a hateful phone call. This mountain top experience can happen anywhere. When it happens, it is life changing, and the change is forever.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John