28 Feb 2021. Transfiguration of the LORD. 2nd Sunday Lent. Cycle B-2021. Gn 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18 + Rom 8:31b-34 + Mk 9:2-10

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.” … Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; then from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to Him” (Mk 9:2c-5, 7).

I was surfing the Web one day, when I came across the towering ‘Christ the Redeemer’ statue. The 30.1 meter-tall statue overlooks Rio de Janeiro from the Corcovado Mountain.

Was it the tallest Jesus statue, I wondered. Google, however, showed the ‘Christ the King’ statue of Poland to be the tallest at 33 meters. But ‘Christ the Redeemer’ is the most famous, even evoking the actual Transfiguration of Jesus when mountain clouds wrap around it.

The United States could only show a much shorter 20-meter ‘Christ of the Ozarks’ in Arkansas. I wondered, ‘Why would a wealthier nation not build the tallest Jesus Christ statue?’ From the Cloud came an answer, “How will a nation that would not even rise above anti-Christ lawyers, rise above the clouds?”

The tallest statue in the world is 182-meter tall. The ‘Christ the King’ statue of Poland, the tallest Jesus Christ statue, at 33 meters, is the 87th tallest statue. The ‘Statue of Liberty’ in New York, at 46 meters, is the 48th tallest. Even Muslim Indonesia and Communist Vietnam built Jesus Christ statues taller than the ‘Christ of the Ozarks’ of the U.S. There are statues to Jesus’ mother Mary built even taller than the ‘Christ the King’ statue.

The Cloud popped up images of the devastated Kingdoms of Judah and Israel. God had promised to be with His People if they listened to Him, and obeyed His Commandments, and worshiped Him. But His People would not dare do these amidst the pagans they lived with, lest they would offend the unbelievers. Not only did they tolerate pagans worshipping in the “high places” the pagans built, they themselves built and worshipped their own pagan-inspired “high places.” The land, consequently, vomited them out.

The Cloud also popped up the collapsing Twin Towers and a U.S. screaming and scampering. “If only the U.S. would listen and obey Jesus, the Christ, and would let Jesus Christ tower over her mind, over her heart, and with all her strength, maybe Jesus Christ would be appeased,” I thought. “More so,” a Voice from the cloud interrupted, “If she prostrates herself to worship Me, their King, all the more I will tower taller.” VSS

Pictures — Top two: ‘Christ the Redeemer’ statue in Brazil. Bottom left: ‘Christ the King’ statue in Poland. Bottom Right: ‘Christ of the Ozarks’ statue in Arkansas. Picture credit: ‘Christ the Redeemer’ over Rio de Janeiro by snarkynomad.com. Cloud-wrapped ‘Jesus the Redeemer’ by WordPress.com. ‘Christ the King’ statue by OrangeSmileTours.com. Christ of the Ozarks by TripAdvisor.com.