The Transfiguration

Mark 9: 2-10
Dn 7:9-10,13-14/ Psa 97/2 Pt 1:16-19

Rabbi, it is good for us to be here.
(Mark 9:5)

Lead me Lord to Your heights sublime,
And there behold Your radiant face;
In Your presence stay for a time,
And be empowered by Your grace.

Jesus took Peter, James and John with Him and led them up a high mountain, apart by themselves. There He was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three tents —one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.) Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus charged them not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They kept the matter to themselves, although they discussed with one another what “rising from the dead” meant. (Mark 9: 2-10)

Reflection

The Transfiguration must be one of the most important incidents in the life of our Lord for His chosen apostles to witness. With slight variations, the event is related in all the synoptic gospels, if only to emphasize that it really happened. St. Peter even gave witness to this in his letter (2nd Reading): “He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory, saying, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.’ We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with Him on the sacred mountain” (2 Peter 1:16b-18). All three evangelists relate how Jesus told His apostles before His transfiguration, “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God” (Lk.9:27, Mt.16:28, Mk.9:1). Obviously, He was referring to Peter, James and John who would later accompany Him to Mt. Hebron. After this revelation, His closest disciples would now begin to understand that His messianic goal was not the redemption of Israel from the Romans, but the salvation of the whole mankind from the slavery of sin.

However, it was not only for the benefit of His apostles that our Lord was transfigured. It was also to prepare Himself for the trials ahead. The Plan of the Father was finally going to unravel, and in His humanity, Jesus needed the assurance and fortification that could only come from God and His foremost prophets during His transfiguration. It was enough that our Lord heard the voice of His Father saying, “This is My Beloved Son, listen to Him.”

Our “holy mountain” is our Brotherhood, where we are regularly fed and reinforced with the Word of God in our prayer assemblies and teachings. We need to listen to God’s Word to be guided in the challenging task of evangelization for which we have been commissioned. Our Lord Jesus Himself showed us in His regular communion with the Father how important prayers are in our constant battle with the evil forces of this world. And as He showed us, we need the company of our brothers whenever we go through such spiritual encounters.

Lord Jesus, in today’s Gospel reading, You revealed to Your closest apostles Your Divine nature, and to us the message that the flesh has become one with the Divine through Your Transfiguration. You have given us everything, Lord, including Your divinity, if only to save us from depravity and corruption, and transform us into a new creation. We ask for the grace to be constantly aware of Your great love for us, that we may never again fall into sin, but instead will always be in your service for spreading your Word and Your love to others. Amen.

Comments are closed.