We began Lent with dirty black ashes (crosses) on our foreheads. Last Sunday we were with Jesus in the dusty desert. Today, describing the dazzling beauty of the Divine, Mark struggles with washing powder imagery. Yet here truly is a glimpse of Divinity. Dazzling white garments reveal the glory of the one who wears them. Mountains are places of divine communication; clouds of divine presence and glory. Above all, that rare moment of the voice of God, “This is my Son …”
The human and tempted Jesus of last Sunday is now indisputably divine. Human and Divine: this is the Jesus we believe in. Recognisable, yet mysterious; thought provoking; “Is God really concerned with us puny little human beings?” On the other hand, if Divinity beckons, where might it lead? Where might it end?”
At a concert recently I was privileged to listen to Vaughan William’s, The Lark Ascending; the violin capturing the songbird’s cascading voice; beautiful, yet fainter, as the bird ascends. One is drawn onwards and upwards. The Divine beckons. Yet with the rapturous applause of the audience, I crashed back to earth, like Peter on the mountain, when, the vision gone, looking round, he saw “only Jesus”.
Jesus is embarked on a journey to Jerusalem; then through death, resurrection and ascension to the right hand of the Father. A journey in line with the obedience and trust Abraham placed in God. A journey undertaken (as Saint Paul says today) out of love for us. It seems Jesus wants to take us all the way with him to the right hand of the Father. But why? Why not corral us in a secure human paradise free from nasty serpents. It seems that our hearts will not rest until they find their rest in God (Saint Augustine). Is this true of your heart? Does the Divine beckon, and, if so, why?
Ian Tomlinson SJ
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Ian Tomlinson SJ