The Transfiguration of the Lord

July 31, 2015

He was transfigured before them. (Mark 9:2) 

The Transfiguration of the Lord Jesus Christ on that mountain, Jesus revealed before mortal eyes the transcendent truth of who he is - and who Peter, James and John - and each one of us – will become in Him. They were invited to exercise their freedom and embrace the path that He had prepared.

Clearly the Church considers the Transfiguration to be a central event in Jesus' life—and in our lives of faith. Not only do we celebrate it every year on August 6, but we also read the story on the second Sunday of Lent every year. Why do we spend so much time with this story? One obvious answer is that the Transfiguration very clearly reveals Jesus as God's beloved Son. This vision was meant to help sustain the disciples through the dark days of his passion and death, just as it can sustain us in our own dark days. But there is another reason. We know that Jesus had a human body just like ours. Now, as we see it shining with divine radiance, we see an image of great hope for us: we can be transformed as well! The Transfiguration isn't just for Jesus; it's for all of us fellow humans with him.

Yes, we will be transformed at the end of time when Jesus returns in glory. But that's not the only transformation that this story points to. The Transfiguration also tells us that we can be transformed, little by little, every day as we embrace God’s word on the mountain: "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him" (Mark 9:7). As we quiet our hearts to hear Jesus' voice, his glory rubs off on us. His word changes our hearts. His love brightens our eyes. His glory helps us lift up our heads. What a wonderful hope this message of transformation is! Without it, we're stuck right where we are. The best we can do is what Peter stammered out: erect a tent to honor what God has done for us. Of course, commemorating past blessings isn't a bad thing, but God has so much more for us. He wants us to move into the future with him. He invites us to follow him on his journey of love, through the cross to the risen life that he has promised to all of us.

So listen to Jesus today. Try to detect his still small voice in prayer, in nature, or in your circumstances. Listen to him, and he will raise you up!

"Jesus, show me your glory today! Let your unfailing love touch and change me."

From Father Walter Column
St. Basil the Great Parish Bulletin, August 2,2015

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