“Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain, where they could be alone, by themselves.”

Mark 9:2

Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Mark 9:2-8

It is interesting that on this occasion, Jesus does not go up the mountain alone to pray. He decides to take with him Peter, James and John, three of his closest disciples. He had recently begun to share with them his sense that he would be put to death. This was not their idea of how things should work, and these conversations rattled their faith. Perhaps Jesus knew that it was important to have them with him when he went up the mountain to pray.

Their experience of being present to witness Jesus being transfigured and hearing the words of affirmation spoken from out of the cloud would have strengthened their faith in who Jesus was. The experience is so powerfully consoling that they want to make a permanent dwelling place so that Moses and Elijah will stay there. Most significantly, hearing the voice affirming Jesus as the Beloved Son is a powerful confirmation that Jesus is even greater than the law and the prophets. He is the Messiah. The one waited for.

We know that even though they were told not to talk about what they had experienced, that they grappled with it and talked about its significance among themselves. The disciples had witnessed Jesus performing miracles, but here they share a powerful experience of something miraculous happening to Jesus. They are part of this key moment in the life of Jesus. After the initial shock of Jesus’ death, as they lived into the realisation of his resurrection – they had already seen a foreshadowing of it. They were able to think back to the day when they had seen Jesus transfigured in glory.

Let us reflect,

What have I recently witnessed or encountered that has given me a sense of hope or a glimpse of a new reality?

Spend some time in your imagination, talking with one of the disciples who witnessed the transfiguration. Ask what the impact of this experience was on them and listen for their response.

Dr Annemarie Paulin-Campbell

Dr Annemarie Paulin-Campbell has worked in the area of Ignatian Spirituality for 19 years and heads up the work of the Jesuit Institute School of Spirituality. Her primary focus is the training and supervision of spiritual directors and the giving of retreats. She is also a registered Psychologist and her PhD focused on the interface between Christian Spirituality and Psychology. Annemarie is an editorial advisor to “The Way” journal of Spirituality and has authored a number of articles relating to the training of Spiritual Directors in an African context. She has contributed to several books, most recently co-authoring a book of Lenten Reflections: “Long Journey to the Resurrection”. She has contributed to international conferences and consultations in Spirituality in the United Kingdom; the United States; Rome; Spain, Ethiopia, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

a.paulin-campbell@jesuitinstitute.org.za @annemariepc_c
See more from Annemarie Paulin-Campbell
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