Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my beloved Son; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” (Matthew 17:1-9)
It is difficult to be optimistic right now. The Coronavirus continues cutting its deadly swath around the world. All the economic news is depressing. The partisanship of politics has never seemed so raw and mean spirited. Try as we might, there’s just not enough good news to help us feel positive about the future. It’s hard to see beyond today and believe that the world as we knew it will ever return. How we feel affects the way we look at things and the way we look at the world.
And today comes the Gospel passage describing the Transfiguration. On the mountain Peter, James and John saw that there was more to Jesus than met the eye. During the transfiguration they got a glimpse of the future glory of Jesus’ resurrection. Like them we too get glimpses of the presence of God in our lives. Transfigurations are waiting for us—in the face of a newborn child, in the eyes of someone we love, in a quiet moment of prayer, at the peak of a mountain above the tree line when it seems you can almost see forever, standing in front of a beautiful painting that seizes our imagination. Christ is in each of these peak experiences—we just have to see with the eyes of faith and we’ll catch a glimpse of the glory of Christ which we will one day share.
The good times take us through the bad times. So, when our cross is heavy or when we are tempted to despair about the meaning of life, we should s look beyond the pain of the present moment and remember those times when we got glimpses of God, those times when God sent us his consolations. We need to look beyond the pain of life and see the presence of God in our world.
Jesus shows us God, by showing us what it means to be human. And really being human means being in the muddle and mess that Jesus was in. This is where God is. Peter wanted to grasp the divinity without the failure, but the flash of the divine, the glimpse of meaning, only comes out of the failure. Out of the Cross. There’s no place to find God except in man, and no way to find man except in Jesus Christ.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus, I profess and believe that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God. You are my Lord and my Savior who has set me free from sin and deception. Make my faith strong like the Apostles Peter and Paul and give me boldness to speak of you to others that they may come to know you as Lord and Savior.”
The Cross helps us to recognize Jesus when we meet him in the random encounters we have with those who suddenly need us. There’s no straight and settled road towards God. The coming of the Son of Man is like a lightning bolt, and you never know when the revelation is to be offered to you. Perhaps at the most unlikely moment , just when you’re at your most irritable with that boring, grasping person who needs you. The gospel makes us ready for the sudden transfiguration of such moments; ready to see God, to see Christ in the mess of being human.