The Transfiguration of Jesus

Luke 9: 28b-36
Dn 7:9-10,13-14 / Ps 97 / 1Pt 1:16-19

As he was praying, His countenance changed, and his clothes became dazzling white.
(Luke 9:29)

Lord God, we believe that all of us
Must undergo a transformation,
Endure the hardships, climb the heights, just
Like Jesus’ own transfiguration.

One day, Jesus took Peter, John and James with Him, and went up on the mountain to pray. As He was praying, His countenance changed, and His clothes became dazzling white. The apostles, who were resting after the long trek, awoke and saw Jesus in His glory, with Moses and Elijah conversing with Him. They spoke about His departure, which would happen in Jerusalem. As they were about to leave, Peter told Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He did not know what he was saying, when suddenly, a cloud came and overshadowed them. They were terrified as a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Chosen Son; listen to him!” After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. (Luke 9:28b-36)

Reflection

The transfiguration narrative found in the 3 synoptic gospels presaged the passion and death of our Lord Jesus, and it happened as much for the benefit of His closest apostles as well as for His own divine assurance and fortification. The presence of Moses and Elijah on the mountain with Jesus affirmed His mission as the culmination of the Law and the Prophets, which these two figures represented. They fortified His human will to face the torment of Calvary according to the Father’s plan. Thus, when He had completed His mission, before His ascencion, Jesus told his disciples: “Everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets must be fulfilled” (Lk. 24:44).

Christ’s transfiguration was the most powerful evidence of His divine Messiahship, to convince the inner circle of Jesus once and for all that His mission was not political. But their presence in the mountaintop with Moses and Elijah also imbued them with the hope of someday reaching the heights of the divine. Over time, the followers of Jesus would come to realize by the grace of this experience that God had to become man in order for human beings to become divine, and be likewise “transfigured”. Peter had a taste of this ‘rapture’ and wanted to stay in the mountain longer.

Many of us in the renewal also had a whiff of this ethereal experience when we took our Christian Life Program or Life in the Spirit Seminar (LSS), particularly during the seminar’s Baptism of the Holy Spirit. At first the spiritual experience made us feel awkward or embarrassed (like Peter, who did not know what he was saying). But later, we discarded all inhibitions, and some of us even succumbed to tears. But we must keep on growing in the Spirit after our ‘experience on the mountain’. . . “for it is written (2nd reading): ‘Be holy, because I am holy’.” (1 Ptr.1:16)

Thank You, Father, for the spiritual experience of discovering that we too can be divine. Grant us the grace to endure the long trek that we must take in order to reach our own transfiguration. We love Your heights, but it is in the plains where we must prove our worth, and work for Your kingdom. Amen.

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