March 5 2023 Gospel Reading and Reflection: Matthew 17:1-9

3/5/2023 (Sunday) Today’s gospel reading: Matthew 17:1-9

1 Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.
2 And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light.
3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him.
4 Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”
6 When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid.
7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and do not be afraid.”
8 And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone.
9 As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, “Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

3/5/2023 (Sunday) Today’s gospel reflection: Matthew 17:1-9

The first verse of the gospel reading above states that Jesus led Peter, James, and John to a high mountain. If we accept that Jesus is our Lord, Savior and King, we allow Him to lead us to where we should go. We are no longer in control of our life but we surrender to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. In our day to day decision-making, we pray that Jesus will make His will manifest in us and that we may have the humility and willingness to follow Him. Like what He did to the apostles, Jesus will surely lead us to a place where we can truly know Him, where we can see the glory of God, and where our life can be transformed.

When the apostles were enveloped by the cloud and witnessed the transfiguration of Jesus, they were frightened. Seeing Jesus in His full glory can indeed be terrifying. This is because when we encounter the divine, there is the feeling that one is so small and unworthy before someone who is so great and mighty. Like Simon Peter when He recognized the divinity of Jesus (Luke 5:8), we would rather tell Him to “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”.

Yet, even as we are also overwhelmed by our unworthiness of the greatness and goodness of God, Jesus comes to us to say, “Rise, and do not be afraid.” For it is His mission to reunite us with our Father. When we lost our way and we lived in shame and sorrow because we rebelled against God, He sent His only Son to call us back, “come back to me with all your heart” (Joel 2:12).

We all want change. We all want to be transformed and yet we find it difficult to do so. May the transfiguration event inspire us to return to Jesus for He alone can lead us and transform us so we can see His full glory.

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