Transfiguration Sunday – Year B

February 11 - 22

Gospel Lectionary Text

Mark 9:2-9

9:2 Six days later, 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,

9:3 and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them.

9:4 And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus.

9:5 Then Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."

9:6 He did not know what to say, for they were terrified.

9:7 Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, "This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!"

9:8 Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.

9:9 As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.


Welcome to the final week before Lent, as we prepare to journey with Jesus to the cross. Sometimes, catching a glimpse of things we don’t fully understand helps us reflect, and make sense of them later when we’ve gained a bigger perspective. That’s kind of what’s happening in this week’s Gospel as Peter, James, and John witness Jesus' transfiguration. Similar to last week, Jesus insists on secrecy about this event until after the resurrection.

Why is it okay to speak of Jesus’ glory after the resurrection but not before?

Imagine the disciples becoming evangelists solely based on their mountaintop experience. They would have proclaimed a gospel devoid of the cross. Only after witnessing the marks of death in Jesus' resurrected body will they clearly see what the Good News is all about — and experience their own transfiguration with Easter eyes.


Could there be times when we too must wait — to not speak prematurely of good news — until we are able to discern a circumstance in light of its passage through death?


Take Lord and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding and my entire will, all that I have and call my own. You have given all to me. To you Lord I return it.

Everything is yours; do with it what you will. I ask only for your love and your grace. That is enough. See the complete prayer

Word from Below Reflections

Transfiguration of Power

Recent events in Myanmar and the Philippines loom large in my mind as I write this reflection from Manila. Myanmar is in the midst of a military coup, while the Philippine Supreme Court deliberates on the constitutionality of an anti-terror law. The law gives state agents unbridled power to declare who is a terrorist without…

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A Beautiful Cluelessness

I admit to a certain cluelessness regarding the transfiguration. After countless years of exposure to cleverly executed sermons, teachings, and writings by the best of our preachers, teachers, and scholars, I still don’t get what it was all about.

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A Dazzling Secret

There is nothing quite so dangerous as trying to occupy the place of resurrection glory prematurely or falsely. Throughout Mark’s Gospel, Jesus repeatedly tells his disciples not to mention his identity too soon. Theologians often refer to this as the “messianic secret.”

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Understanding the Bible anew through the Mimetic Theory of René Girard.

Weekly Homily by James Alison