The Transfiguration of the Lord
By REV. FR. SAMUEL FREDERICK
Dan. 7:9-10.13-14, 2 Pet. 1:16-19, Lk. 9:28-36. Three people were invited on three separate occasions into three privileged moments in the life and ministry of Jesus. They were handpicked each time to participate in most unique sacred ministry of Christ. The person who chose them was our Lord, while the three were Peter, James and John. Even though we got no formal invitation, the Lord would not mind having us to be part of it. We will slip in and stay quietly in the background. We will see what the Apostles saw, hopefully. We will have the added advantage of observing their reaction. The first place such unique encounter took place was the home of a Synagogue official called Jairus (Mk 5:23). The second place was at the Garden of Gethsemane (Mk 14:34). The third and last place wad the Mount of Tabor, the scene of the Transfiguration which we celebrate today. This time it was the turn of the disciples to be frightened (Mk 9:6). If Gethsemane was to be one of Christ’s darkest moments, the Transfiguration was the brightest.
What frightened the three Apostles was not the prospect of suffering, but the awesome encounter with the unfamiliar. Here was “the Christ” as they had never seen Him before: “Brilliantly white” (Mk 9:3). Adding to the unearthly and disconcerting nature of the experience was the presence of such illustrious figures as Moses and Elijah, who lived longer than others did in the memory of their people, but who, at the same time, had been a long time dead. Their presence must be, an exaltation of Jesus, an exaltation that reached its zenith and startled them completely when the voice came down from Heaven: “This is my Son, the beloved. Listen to him” (Mk 9:8). For the three Apostles, it is an experience of something beyond words: frightening and yet, so wonderful that they would wish to prolong it by building three tents – for Jesus, Moses and Elijah. Reflecting on the experience, years later, Peter confirmed this experience in today's second reading: “We had seen his majesty for ourselves. He was honoured and glorified by God the Father, when the Sublime Glory itself spoke to him” (1 Pet. 1:17). The whiteness of the cloth of Jesus was the Divinity, manifested to the Apostles. Traditionally, Moses and Elijah represents the Law and the Prophets, known for their Divine encounter. They crossed the desert, fasted for forty days and climbed the mountain of God. Moses prayed to God: “Show me your glory.” When God revealed Himself to Moses, God placed him in the cleft of the rock and when He came to Elijah as a gentle breeze, it was at the mouth of the cave. Perhaps these two are present as representing all those who desire to see God’s glory: “When can I enter and see the face of God?” (Ish 42:2).
May we be empowered by the continued revelation of God and be led into an increased dedication to live out our mission to proclaim the glory of God to others by the way we live our lives! Amen!! Good morning and have a great day!!!