Church of All Nations - Mount of Olives, Jerusalem

Church of All Nations – Mount of Olives, Jerusalem

Gospel – Mark 9:2-10

Jesus took Peter, James, and John
and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them,
and his clothes became dazzling white,
such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses,
and they were conversing with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
“Rabbi, it is good that we are here!
Let us make three tents:
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them;
from the cloud came a voice,
“This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”
Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone
but Jesus alone with them.

As they were coming down from the mountain,
he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone,
except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
So they kept the matter to themselves,
questioning what rising from the dead meant.

Reflection by Br. Dominic Smith, FSC

The glorified Jesus is accompanied by Moses and Elijah. Peter is delighted and responds that it is good to be here. Mark adds that the other disciples are confused and frightened.

On the occasion of a spiritual experience I can respond in a similar way. I can be filled with joy; I can be confused; I can be alarmed. It is possible to have all three response and feel paralyzed.

I served ten years as the Director of the Library at Bethlehem University after 33 years in District high schools. In reflecting on my first impressions upon arriving at Bethlehem University in the summer of 1997 I wrote recently, “After walking through the chaos and disorder of the streets of the town of Bethlehem and you pass through the gate and enter the peace and calm of the campus of Bethlehem University you will experience a world where hundreds of young people are actively engaged in conversation and laughter. The students are involved in a dream to pursue a quality higher education.”

In my farewell in 2007 I wrote, “Little did I think in 1997 that ten years later I would still be in Bethlehem. I leave a changed man as a result of my experience. It’s true that Bethlehem University has had a greater impact on me than I have had on the University. I leave with a sense of admiration for what is accomplished here on a daily basis.”

I often recall the words of John Baptist de La Salle from the Memoir on the Beginnings, “God who directs all things with wisdom and gentleness…led me imperceptibly and over a long period of time from one commitment to another in a way I did not at all foresee in the beginning.” I invite others to be open to a commitment of service to the mission of Bethlehem University.

Reflection Questions

  • When God calls are you overcome with fear?
  • Do you overcome fear and remove unsettling thoughts in order to respond to what God is calling you to do?