The Transfiguration of Jesus

Luke 9:28b-36
Dn 7:9-10,13-14 / Psa 97/2Pt1:16-19

While He was praying His countenance changed…
(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.

Jesus took Peter, John and James with Him, and went up on the mountain to pray. While 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 exodus, which He would accomplish in Jerusalem. Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep, but becoming fully awake, they saw His glory, and the two men with Him. 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 three synoptic gospels presaged the passion and death of our Lord Jesus, and it happened not only for the benefit of His closest apostles, but also for His own 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 ascension, 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 divinity, 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 experience the divine, and also be “transfigured”. Peter, in fact, 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 in 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 now we know we must keep growing in the Spirit after our ‘experience on the mountain’.

Thank You, Father, for the spiritual experience of discovering that we too are endowed with the 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 we believe it is in the plains where we must prove our worth, and work for Your kingdom. Amen.

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