In the context of the Lord's Transfiguration, once again we listen to the words that echoed at the moment of Jesus' baptism in the Jordan: "This is my beloved Son; listen to him" (Mk 9:7).
This extraordinary manifestation of Jesus' divine sonship did not last long. When the Apostles looked up again, they saw no one else but Jesus, who "as they were coming down the mountain", the Evangelist continues, "charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man should have risen from the dead" (Mk 9:9).
Thus on this Second Sunday of Lent, together with the Apostles we hear the announcement of the Resurrection. We hear it as we set out with them on the way to Jerusalem, where we will relive the mystery of the Lord's Passion and Death. The fasting and penance of this sacred season are oriented precisely to this event which is the key to the whole economy of salvation.
The Transfiguration of the Lord, which tradition claims took place on Mount Tabor, gives prominence to the person and work of God the Father, who is really and invisibly present beside his Son. This explains why that important Old Testament episode, which gives special emphasis to fatherhood, is used as a backdrop of the Gospel for the Transfiguration.
In fact, the first reading taken from the Book of Genesis, recalls Abraham's sacrifice. He had a son, Isaac, born to him in his old age. He was the son who had been promised. But one day Abraham receives from God the order to offer him in sacrifice. He does not hesitate even for an instant, and after making the necessary preparations, sets out with Isaac for the appointed place. He builds an altar, sets the wood on it and, binding the boy, takes the knife to sacrifice him. Only then is he prevented by an order from on high.
There is something disturbing about this event in which a father's faith and trust in God reach their apex. Rightly St Paul calls Abraham the "father of all believers" (cf. Rom 4:11, 17). The Jewish and Christian religions refer to his faith. The Koran also recognizes the figure of Abraham. The faith of the father of believers is a mirror in which the mystery of God is reflected, a mystery of love that unites the Father and the Son.
"He [God] who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him?" (Rom 8:32). These words of St Paul in the Letter to the Romans bring us to the basic theme of today's liturgy: the mystery of divine love revealed in the sacrifice of the Cross.
Let us ask the Lord that we might prepare ourselves suitably: "Jesus, beloved Son of the Father, grant that we may listen to you and follow you to Calvary, to the Cross, to share with you in the glory of the Resurrection".