“This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”

In this gospel for the Second Sunday of Lent (Mk 9:2-10) Jesus takes three of His disciples, leaving the rest behind, up a mountain where He is transfigured before them with Moses and Elijah appearing and conversing with Him.  After things go back to normal, as the four are walking back down, Jesus charges them not to tell anyone about this event until “the Son of Man had risen from the dead.”  (v. 9)  Before the Transfiguration ends, though, God the Father utters the words at top.  Now why would He do this?  The three apostles with Him, Peter, James, and John, were Jesus’ closest friends among the disciples (one indicator, among others, is that Jesus invited only these three to watch with Him in His agony in the garden as well).  They had been His constant companions for some time and had likely heard just about everything He said, probably multiple times.  This injunction by the Father to listen to His Son must have served as a jolting reminder to them that just hearing is not enough, but that Jesus’ words must be carefully considered and mediated upon, ultimately causing an interior transformation manifesting itself in exterior acts.  And, of course, the Holy Spirit meant this message for persons in every age (that’s why it’s in Scripture!).  We hear the Father’s voice explicitly in the New Testament rarely, so, when we do, we should be especially attentive, as these three apostles were.  And what does the Father relay?  That His “stamp of approval” is on everything Jesus says and does (on the latter, in Matthew’s telling of the Transfiguration episode [17:1-8], he records the Father’s additional words “with whom I am well pleased” between the two sentences above).  Crying out “Lord, Lord!” is not enough (cf. Mt 7:21-23),  Just as Jesus was transformed in this scene, so are we called to transform our lives in accordance with Jesus example and teaching.  Listen carefully.

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