Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Transfiguration: Taking up one's cross is part of the journey to glory
by Sister Annette Koss
At my parish, we sometimes discuss where we should have a cross
placed in church:
on a wall, in a stand, among the people.
One Lent, each week the cross was moved to a different place among the assembly.
Recently, I was asked to be a communion minister at Mass.
Then, I was asked, "Do you need a cross?"
I said, "I have a cross" -- meaning the one I was wearing.
Then, I said, "I am a cross."
I moved from the concrete cross to its inner symbolism.
With the experience of the transfiguration,
Mark clearly connects the transfiguration with the cross,
placing the transfiguration between passion predictions.
He was expanding the disciples' understanding of Jesus as a suffering servant,
to be obedient in the midst of not fully understanding,
to give hope in the resurrection in times of persecution.
The disciples stood in a cloud as they experienced mystery.
Jesus would be the new Moses and the new Elijah with a new message.
Peter preferred to build three tents and prolong the experience.
The transfiguration was a call to discipleship:
"Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me."
The transfiguration confirmed the teaching on the cross.
It was an invitation to risk one's life.
The disciples were called to understand the choices before them:
to deny Jesus was to live but ultimately lose life,
to follow Jesus was to risk death but gain life.
- What has been a "mountaintop" experience for me?
- Did I want to stay there and prolong the experience?
- Did it lead me to service and maybe some suffering?