listen to him, not him
"As they were coming down the mountain..." —Mark 9:9
Peter said to the transfigured Jesus: "How good it is for us to be here!" (Mk 9:5) Peter may have been "beating around the bush." He may have been speaking not so much of the goodness of being on the mountain as of the badness of carrying the cross with Jesus in "the valley of the shadow of death" (Ps 23:4, KJV) (see also Mt 16:22). Compared to the valley of the shadow of death, the mountaintop looked great.
After Peter had made his remarks, "a cloud came, overshadowing them, and out of the cloud a voice: 'This is My Son, My Beloved. Listen to Him' " (Mk 9:7). The Father may have said, in effect: "Don't listen to Peter who has just spoken. Listen to Jesus, Who says: 'It is good for us to get off the mountain and into the valley from which we can carry the cross up another mountain, Mt. Golgotha, Calvary.' " St. Augustine preached on the transfigured Christ: "Go down to toil on earth, to serve on earth, to be scorned and crucified on earth. Life goes down to be killed; Bread goes down to suffer hunger; the Way goes down to be exhausted on His journey; the Spring goes down to suffer thirst; and you refuse to suffer?" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 556)
Prayer: Father, give me ears to hear the crucified Jesus (see Rv 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22).
Promise: "We were eyewitnesses of His sovereign majesty. He received glory and praise from God the Father when that unique declaration came to Him out of the majestic splendor: 'This is My beloved Son, on Whom My favor rests.' We ourselves heard this said from heaven.' " —2 Pt 1:17-18
Praise: Praise You, transfigured and glorified Lord Jesus. You are the Light of the world and of heaven as well (Rv 21:23). Alleluia!
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 1, 1997
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 4, 1997