It takes time to believe. The disciples of Jesus needed time to believe in him and understand the meaning of his life, death and resurrection. So did the man in today’s gospel from Mark who asks help in his unbelief. So do we.
Where are we now?
Since the Christmas season we have been reading about Jesus’ ministry in Galilee from Mark’s Gospel, which ends with Chapter 9 next week at the beginning of Lent. Then, we will follow him, from Matthew’s Gospel mostly, on his journey to Jerusalem where he says he will die and rise again.
What does Mark’s gospel tell us he has accomplished so far? His disciples still do not understand him, Peter certainly doesn’t. (Mark 8, 27-33) Despite miracles and his inspired teaching, his own family and hometown turn away from him. (Mark 3,1-5; 6, 1-6) Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem come to Galilee to dismiss and condemn him.( Mark 7,1-15)
Yet, Jesus goes on to Jerusalem, with his disciples and with all of us. The lenten season’s readings and feasts will take us, like his disciples, from Galilee to Jerusalem. Lent will also call us, as Jesus does in today’s gospel, to prayer.
Will this lent and Easter turn more people to join him? Maybe. The world we live in is a lot like Galilee and Jerusalem. Still, like the disciples who first followed him there, we’re going up to Jerusalem. There will always be transfigured moments to lead us on.