“Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.” ― Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents
Gospel Text: (MT 17:1-9)
Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother,
and led them up a high mountain by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them;
his face shone like the sun
and his clothes became white as light.
And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them,
conversing with him.
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.”
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.”
When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate
and were very much afraid.
But Jesus came and touched them, saying,
“Rise, and do not be afraid.”
And when the disciples raised their eyes,
they saw no one else but Jesus alone.
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.”
It is easy to get caught up in wanting to stay comfortable or as Peter says in the Gospel, “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.” Think of everything that would not have happened if Peter would have set up the tents. Think of how many people would not have had the opportunity to meet Jesus, how many people Peter and the other apostles would not have been able to disciple and introduce to Jesus. No, Jesus doesn’t set up tents- he is always moving forward, always embracing more people and inviting them into relationship with him. How are you doing so far in this Lenten journey? Are you moving forward with Christ, continuing to prepare your heart for the resurrection of our Lord on Easter Sunday? Have you become stuck, wanting to stay in your old habits, maybe even your own pattern of sin? Is your heart thankful, joyful, and overflowing with God’s love to others, inviting them to know and meet Jesus?
This is difficult though because we often don’t want to move, and it cannot be done by our own doing - it is by God’s grace and blessing. In times when you feel afraid, allow our Lord to speak to your heart, “Rise, and do not be afraid.” Where is Jesus inviting you today?