Greetings on this the Second Sunday of Lent
Readings: Gn 15:5-12, 17-18; Ps 27:1, 7-8, 8-9, 13-14; Phil 3:17—4:1; Lk 9:28b-36
Notes: During Lent Ash Wednesday gospel portion is identical for all cycles (A, B and C).
For the Sundays of Week One and Week Two of Lent the narrative story is the same but presented from one of the synoptic gospels (Cycle A – Matthew, Cycle B – Mark, and this hear Cycle C – Luke). Same story slightly different perspective.
After today, the Sunday Lent readings diverge to offer a diverse perspectives of the life of Jesus Christ and what he had to say and offer to us. But for today, I want to focus on the Tent as presented in the synoptic gospels.
Sidebar: We live in an increasing moralistic world. A dangerous situation for the whole of humanity. Best to remember, when you point a finger at another, THREE fingers point back to you.
REMEMBER: Justice is not an ABSOLUTE. Justice is a relation. Justice is the reduction/elimination of hurt/harm done to another and the application of blessing upon the other. Justice as understood today in the American Church and in American society as a whole is not the Justice of God.
Abram put his faith in the LORD,
who credited it to him as an act of righteousness.
The Lord is my light and my salvation.
“Come,” says my heart, “seek his face”;
your face, LORD, do I seek! (PS 27:8).
Stand firm in the Lord.
Verse Before the Gospel
From the shining cloud the Father’s voice is heard:
This is my beloved Son, hear him.
- Hear Him.
- Listen to Him.
- Follow him.
“Master, it is good that we are here;
let us make three tents,
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
But he did not know what he was saying.
Indeed. The Lord honored his request in a marvelous way and wanted him to go much further with him!
There are three levels of the Tent understanding.
- Festival of Booths (Ex 23). Ingathering the Jewish People. Ingathering of the whole of humanity.
Plain meaning is the required pilgrimage to Jerusalem either as a journey or as a seven day recreation of living in a temporary dwelling like a farmer during the time of harvest.
You shall dwell in booths for seven days; every native-born Israelite shall dwell in booths, that your descendants may realize that, when I led the Israelites out of the land of Egypt, I made them dwell in booths. I, the LORD, am your God. (LV 23:42-43).
Profound Meaning is the Ingathering of the Jewish people and for us the whole of the human family exemplified by the harvest season and the pilgrimage ordinance.
- Meeting Tent of Moses (Ex 33). Face to face with the Lord, as a person speaks to a friend.
Moses used to pitch a tent outside the camp at some distance. It was called the tent of meeting. Anyone who wished to consult the LORD would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. As Moses entered the tent, the column of cloud would come down and stand at its entrance while the LORD spoke with Moses. On seeing the column of cloud stand at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise and bow down at the entrance of their own tents. The LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a person speaks to a friend. Moses would then return to the camp (Ex 33:7, 9-11a).
Plain meaning is the life of Moses and his friendship with the Lord. Moses, the intercessor, was always interceding on behalf of the people. For the people are a stiff necked people and Moses was pained and took pain to keep them faithful to the Lord. We should also note that Elijah had a different role as prophet. Elijah was the voice and actions of the pathos of God. The emotions, agonies, pains and actions of the Lord in regard to the human family are made most evident in Elijah. Elijah shares visions as like Abram (Smoking firepot, 1 Kgs 18:38, and flaming torch, 2 Kgs 2:11-12).
Profound Meaning the call to each of us into the friendship of the Lord, to know the Lord.
- Tabernacle Tent (Ex 40) a later Exodus development. God’s Presence in the Tabernacle journey’s with His people.
Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the tent of meeting, because the cloud settled down upon it and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Whenever the cloud rose from the tabernacle, the Israelites would set out on their journey. But if the cloud did not lift, they would not go forward; only when it lifted did they go forward. The cloud of the LORD was over the tabernacle by day, and fire in the cloud at night, in the sight of the whole house of Israel in all the stages of their journey (Ex 40:34-38).
Plain meaning is the Lord is with the people in their journey.
Profound Meaning is the call to journey with the Lord in his Exodus, Passion and Heavenly Kingdom. It is important to note in all three synoptic gospels the Transfiguration follows the first prediction of the passion of Our Lord.
So Peter was right but needed to go deeper!
It is so much more!
The Transfiguration of Jesus shows who he is and who we are to become like / follow him.
The Lord God proclaims His Son not simply as revelation but as invitation.
- Natural good of the harvest and supernatural good of ingathering people to the Lord.
- Friendship with the Lord, face to face as friend Moses did and knowing him as Elijah knew.
- The Lord not only journeys with us but pitches his tent within us!
The novella of Tobit says it well:
Give thanks to the Lord with righteousness, and bless the King of the ages,
so that your tabernacle may be rebuilt in you with joy (TB 13:10b).
While he was still speaking,
a cloud came and cast a shadow over them,
and they became frightened when they entered the cloud.
Then from the cloud came a voice that said,
“This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”
The cloud is the third promise and the fullness of the Tabernacle Tent.
We are no longer to be afraid of the Lord nor of serving him and the consequences.
We are to Tabernacle with him in our hearts where is a place for him within each of us.
- Hear Him.
- Listen to Him.
- Follow him.
Peace be with you,