MARK 9:7 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Mark 9:2-13)

Jakarta, 19 February 2022

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MARK 9:7 (Today’s Gospel Reading: Mark 9:2-10)

Jakarta, 6 August 2021

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“Listen to Jesus and follow Him. That’s the message of the Transfiguration.” (Pope Francis)

Jakarta, 6 August 2020 [Feast of the Transfiguration]

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Posted by on August 6, 2020 in QUOTABLE QUOTES 2020


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Jakarta, 8 March 2020

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This is My beloved Son: Second Sunday of Lent [Year A] – Matthew 17:11-9

Jakarta, 8 March 2020

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(A biblical reflection on THE SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT [YEAR A] – 8 March 2020)

Gospel Reading: Matthew 17:1-9 

First Reading: Genesis 12:1-4a; Psalms: Psalm 33:4-5,18-19,20,22; Second Reading: 2 Timothy 1: 8b-10 

The Scripture Text

And after six days Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain apart. And He was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with Him. And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is well that we are here; if You wish, I will make three booths here, one for You and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” He was still speaking, when lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces, and were filled with awe. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no on but Jesus only.

And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.” (Matthew 17:1-9 RSV) 

This momentary vision of Christ, in His glory, was given to the three principal Apostles – Peter, James and John – in order to strengthen them to face the trials to their faith, which the sufferings and crucifixion of their beloved Master would bring on them. For the very same reason it is retold to us today, in the early part of Lent, to encourage us to persevere in our Lenten mortifications. It reminds us that, very soon, the Easter bells will be ringing out their message of joy once more. If we are sharers with Christ in His sufferings, we shall be sharers with Him in His glory as Paul reminds us (Romans 6:1-14)

This is a truth we all too easily forget, namely, that we cannot and do not get to heaven in a limousine. Our spell on earth is the chance given us by our heavenly Father to earn an eternal reward. This reward surpasses even the wildest imagination of man. We could never earn it, but God accepts the little we can do and provides the balance of His infinite mercy. And yet there are many, far too many, who refuse even that little bit that is asked of them, and are thus running the risk of not participating in God’s scheme for their eternal happiness.

And are they any happier during their few years on this earth by acting thus towards the God of mercy? Can they, by ignoring God and their duties towards Him, remove all pain, all sorrow, all sufferings, from their daily lives? Death, which means a total separation from all we possessed and cherished in this world, is waiting around the corner for all of us. Who can face it more calmly and confidently – the man who firmly convinced that it is the gateway to a new life, and who has done his best to earn admission through that gateway, or the man who has acted all his life as if death did not exist for him, and who has done everything to have the gate to the new life shut forever in his face?

Illnesses and troubles and disappointments are the lot of all men. They respect neither wealth, nor power, nor position. The man who knows his purpose in life, and is ever striving to reach the goal God’s goodness has planned for him, can and will see in these trials of life the hand of a kind father who is preparing him for greater things. His sufferings become understandable and more bearable because of his attitude to life and its meaning. The man who ignores God and tries to close the eyes of his mind to the real facts of life has nothing to uphold him or console him in his hours of sorrow and pain. Yet, sorrow and pain will dog his footsteps, strive as he will to avoid them, and he can see no value, no divine purpose in these, for him, misfortunes.

Christ has asked us to follow Him, carrying our daily cross, and the end of our journey is not Calvary but resurrection, the entrance to a life of glory with our risen Savior. The Christian who grasps her/his cross closely and willingly, knowing its value for his real life, will find it becomes lighter and often not a burden but a pleasure. The man who tries to shuffle off his cross, and who curses and rebels against Him who sent it, will find it doubles its weight and loses all the value it was intended to have for his true welfare.

Let the thought of the Transfiguration encourage each one of us today, to do the little God demands of us, so that when we pass out of this life we may be assured of seeing Christ in His glory, ready to welcome us into His everlasting glorious Kingdom.

The season of Lent is a constant reminder of our invitation from the Master to always seek the better life. We hear the Church reassuring all pilgrim people that their efforts are far outweighed by the divine glory to be gained. The stories presented in today’s liturgy are not meant to glorify Abraham or the Apostles, but to make us believe that these grace-filled adventures can also be ours. Our journeys can all have happy endings, provided we are willing to venture forth each day with trusting faith.

Short Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, from Your transfiguration, You teach me that my spiritual journey can have a happy ending, provided I am willing to venture forth each day with an unwavering and trusting faith in You. Amen.

Jakarta, 7 March 2020 

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Today’s Gospel Reading: Mark 9:2-10 – FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION OF THE LORD: Monday, 6 August 2018

On the holy mountain, Peter assures us, he and those with him (James and John) saw God’s glory manifested in Jesus. But then He goes on to speak about confirmation of what was said in earlier prophecies. He thus teaches us that the actual experience on the mountain was not as important as the fruit which it ore in their mind.

The light and the voice on the mountain directed their minds and hearts back to the Word of God in Scripture, and there they found a light for their pathway through life. It is this recall to the Word of God that allows us to share in the grace of the Transfiguration.

The disciples of Jesus were soon to face the darkness of the Passion, and they needed the light of the Transfiguration. But we have already been given the light of Easter. By this light, we are drawn, like the Apostles, back to the Word of God, where we find strength and light. The mountain of the Transfiguration for us is the Church. For in the Church the light of God is given as the Word of God and the Sacraments of life.

Let’s pray to Lord Jesus that we always walk in the light of His truth.

Jakarta, 6 August 2018

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Posted by on August 6, 2018 in TODAY'S THOUGHT 2018


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Jakarta, 25 February 2018

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(A biblical refection on THE SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT [YEAR B], 25 February 2018)

Gospel Reading: Mark 9:2-10

First Reading: Genesis 22:1-2,9-10,13,15-18; Psalms: Psalm 116:10,15-19; Second Reading: Romans 8:31-34

The Scripture Text

And after six days Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them, and His garments became glistening, intensely white, as no fuller on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses; and they were talking to Jesus. And Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is well that we are here; let us make three booths, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” For he did not know what to say, for they were exceedingly afraid. And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is My beloved Son; listen to Him.” And suddenly looking around they no longer saw any one with them but Jesus only. 

And as they were coming down the mountain, He charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of man should have risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant. (Mark 9:2-10 RSV) 

In today’s Gospel reading, Peter, James, and John witness something very strange when they climb to the top of the mountain with Jesus. Without warning, Jesus’ clothing becomes dazzling white while both Moses and Elijah appear and talk to Him. A voice comes from a cloud overshadowing the group. Within seconds, the vision ends.

This vision is rich in symbolism. Most represents the Jewish laws while Elijah represents the prophets. Together, they stand for “The Law and the Prophets”, another name for the Jewish Scriptures. The purpose of the Scriptures is to prepare for the Messiah through whom God will rule the world. With God in control, there will be no more pain or suffering or death. The Jews called this the reign or the Kingdom of God.

The cloud overshadowing Jesus and His visitors would have reminded the apostles of the column of clouds God used to lead the Jewish people out of Egypt. Thus, the cloud is symbolic of God’s presence.

The symbolism in the remainder of the reading also deals with the reign of God. The Jews pictured the saints wearing bright white clothing in God’s Kingdom, which is exactly how Jesus is dressed.

Finally, Peter offers to erect three tents (or booths). Because the Jews lived in tents when they were in the desert on their way to the Promised Land, tents were a symbol of God’s saving power. Some Jews believed everyone will live in tents in the Kingdom of God.

This symbolism about the reign of God is very important because it points to Jesus being the Messiah even though He will not live up to popular expectations. Instead of being the victorious military leader some Jews were waiting for, Jesus was to die the cruel and painful death of a common criminal. By everyone’s standards, Jesus was a failure.

In today’s Gospel, it is clear the apostles do not grasp the meaning of what Jesus is telling them because as they come down from the mountain we find them discussing what Jesus meant when He said He would rise from the dead. They were still looking for a victorious political/military Messiah who would not die.

If the apostles had difficulty understanding what Jesus was telling them, it’s understandable that today’s religious leaders too would have difficulty discerning God’s will for the Church.  Let us pray that the Holy Spirit will give religious leaders wisdom so they can discern God’s will for His people.

Source: Jerome J. Sabatowich, Cycling Through the Gospels – Gospel Commentaries for Cycles A, B, and C, pages 136-137.) 

Prayer: All glory and praise to You, Jesus, my Lord and Savior! You live, risen from the dead and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Jakarta, 23 February 2018 

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Jakarta, 21 February 2016

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