Jesus took Peter, James, and John off by themselves, and "went up onto a mountain to pray" (Lk 9:28). "While He was praying, His face changed in appearance and His clothes became dazzlingly white" (Lk 9:29). However, Peter, James, and John had fallen into a deep sleep (Lk 9:32). When they awoke, they were in a fog (Lk 9:34). They heard God tell them to listen to Jesus (Lk 9:35). They saw Jesus transfigured in radiant glory, but they missed the encouraging message that God is all-powerful.
Jesus again took Peter, James, and John off by themselves, and went into a garden to pray (Mk 14:33). He began to change in appearance once more, suffering distress and sweating blood (Lk 22:44; Mk 14:34). Jesus intended the first prayer class, with its transfigured glory, to serve as an encouragement for this second prayer class, with its suffering and defeat. That's why the Father appeared in majesty at the transfiguration to tell the disciples to listen to Jesus. However, Peter, James, and John forgot the first lesson and fell asleep again (Mt 26:43). This time, they awoke to find Jesus' captors at hand. Though Jesus and the Father had prepared them, they abandoned Jesus and fled (Mk 14:50).
Jesus knows our "spirit is willing but [our] nature is weak" (Mk 14:38). He will keep teaching us until we learn to pay close attention (2 Pt 1:19). "Awake, O sleeper" (Eph 5:14). Fix your eyes on Jesus transfigured (Heb 3:1). "Listen to Him" (Lk 9:35).
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from August 1, 2007 through September 30, 2007.
†Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 14, 2007.