Weekly Missionary Reflection
2nd Week of Lent, 13 March 2022
Gen. 15:5-12,17-18; Ps. 27:1,7-8,9abc,13-14; Phil. 3:17 – 4:1 (long) atau Phil. 3:20 – 4:1 (short); Luk. 9:28b-36
Transfiguration is related to Liturgy and Mission. For Luke, the glorious presence of Jesus can only be experienced in congregational worship. The essential elements of the congregational worship are very clear in the Emaus Journey scene (Luke 24): gathering, listening to the Words, meal, and mission. The setting of the worship is clear as well at the beginning of today’s story: “about eight days after these sayings…” (v. 28). “Eight days” would refer to the congregational worship day of the early church to commemorate the resurrection of the Lord. Didn’t the Lord rise on the first day after the Sabbath (the seventh day)? The eighth day is then called the Day of the Lord also known as Sunday. Luke also mentioned that Jesus went up on the mountain to pray (v. 28) and His face changed just when He was praying (v. 29). Prayer is one of Luke’s favorite themes.
There are other elements of congregational worship mentioned. First, gathering together. Jesus invited three of His disciples to be alone and pray on the mountain. Moses and Elijah also joined them on the mountain. Worship is the gathering of the congregation: those who are still living in the world and those who are dwelling gloriously in Heaven, praising God and the Son. Worship is not only our activity but also universal worship: all creatures on the earth and in heaven unite in praising God.
Second, listening to the Words. Moses and Elijah talked with Jesus about His journey to Jerusalem. The “journey” is literally called exodos (v. 31). Obviously, there is a connection with the Exodus of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. The presence of Moses affirmed this connection. By listening to God’s Words taught in the Torah (Moses) and the books of the Prophets (Elijah), the journey of Jesus to Jerusalem can be correctly understood. The exodus of Jesus was the journey to the cross and His resurrection that brought human liberation from the slavery of sin. Therefore, God demanded His disciples to listen to Jesus, His Son (v. 35). Worship is the moment when we listen to God’s Words spoken by Moses and the Prophets, which reaches its peak when we listen to the Words of Jesus, the Son (v. 35).
Third, the mission in the world. Peter, Jacob, and John were asleep when Jesus was talking with Moses and Elijah. As a result, they didn’t understand the meaning of this event and the journey of Jesus to Jerusalem. Peter’s suggestion to make three dwellings showed his not-understanding. He would like to keep Moses and Elijah to stay. While actually both of them had to return to Heaven in order for Jesus to come back to the world to complete His journey. Thus, the Father offered firm guidance: “Listen to Him!” The experience with God on the mountain should lead to the mission to the world, by following Son’s obedience and example. That is the essence of our worship: always seek for the source and strength in the Words and in relationship with the Lord. Only the heart filled with God’s glory and love will come down to earth, ready for sharing and involvement with others.
(Hortensius Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy, and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit animating Jesus, also be my guidance and strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus, and the Church, in particular, I present my prayer for our Pope and apostle prayer of Indonesian Church of this month:
For Universal Churches: Facing the challenge of bioethics
We pray for the Christians who face the new challenge of bioethics; may they keep on defending the dignity of all humanity with prayer and action.
For Indonesian Churches intention: Political devotion
May in this democratic world all political elites and government use their authority to serve and organize the society, instead of dominating them.