After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified. Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; then from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them. As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So, they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant. ( Mark 9:2-10)
What a glorious gospel. Glorious in its message and glorious in its invitation.
The revelation of the transfiguration does not center on Jesus’ being, but on his connectedness to the Father. The words that come from the cloud are, “This is my beloved Son “. What they reveal is the intimate, unbreakable bond of love that exists between Jesus and the Father. What they proclaim is that Jesus is more than a prophet, more than a teacher. Jesus is God’s beloved Son.
The words that come next are every bit as important: “Listen to him.” Why should we listen to him? What should we listen to? We should listen to him because if Jesus is in fact God’s beloved Son, then we who are baptized into Jesus are truly God’s beloved daughters and sons as well.
But we don’t listen well, do we?
We live in an age when listening has become far less valued. We live in an era of so much talking and so much noise that it is becoming harder and harder to hear the voice of God which often comes in the gentle breeze of the Holy Spirit, in the whispers of daily events.
Our faith will never grow if we don’t learn how to listen to the voice of the Lord. In order to grow in faith, we need to learn how to tune out so much of the noise of human and learn how to tune into the voice of the Lord. For most of us, that means doing two things.
First, it means that we have to make the time to listen to the Lord. We have to turn off the television, or the radio, or the phone, to put away the newspaper, close the magazine, and let go of the things of the world — like what we’re going to have for dinner, or what we’re going to do on the weekend, etc. — for a little while. We need to stop being so busy and stop giving our attention to these things for so much of our day.
Once we’ve got some quiet from all of the spiritual noise pollution that comes from this busy-ness, we then have to do something even more difficult. We have to shut up. We have to learn how to be quiet in front of the Lord and listen for his voice. We have to stop for a while giving him our laundry list of prayer intentions. We have to stop complaining to him about how others we live or work with are behaving. We have to stop talking and listen to him, so that he can speak to us in this quiet and whisper to us from within.
Jesus’ transfiguration is supposed to lead to our transformation through listening to Christ. Jesus’ word is supposed to be the guiding light of our entire life and make us lighthouses for others in the midst of the tumultuous seas of the world. Jesus’ word is a lamp shining in the darkness to guide us to our heavenly home.
Therefore, if we really believe that Jesus is God, if we sense his divinity penetrating through his humanity and ours, then we will listen to and act on what he says. We will base our lives on what he has told us about heaven, about hell, and about judgment. We will act on his words about mercy, that unless we forgive those who wrong us seventy times seven times, that we will never experience the consoling joy of his own mercy. We will remember his words about trusting dependence on God, that we should never worry, because our Father in heaven loves us and knows what we truly need even before we ask him. We will heed what he says about the importance of prayer, and how we should pray.
This is what we must hear and believe in above all else. Why is it so important to hear it, to listen to it? Because the minute we forget our status as beloved daughters and sons of God, the Good News evaporates.
When we ignore our status as beloved daughters and sons and begin to see ourselves primarily as sinners, as victims, as unlovable, as flawed, as unworthy, the power of the gospel is lost to us. Do we sin? Are we flawed? Is there a real sense that we are unworthy of the tremendous love that God showers on us? Of course. But despite all of those flaws, we remain chosen and beloved children of God. It is only by claiming our true identity that we find the power to turn away from sin, the power to heal our hurts, the power to claim the dignity that God has so freely given us.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus, keep me always alert to you, to your word, your action, and your constant presence in my life. Let me see your glory.”
The Lord Jesus not only wants us to see his glory – he wants to share this glory with us. And Jesus shows us the way to the Father’s glory – follow me – obey my words. Take the path I have chosen for you and you will receive the blessing of my Father’s kingdom – your name, too, will be written in heaven. Jesus fulfilled his mission on Calvary where he died for our sins so that Paradise and everlasting life would be restored to us. He embraced the cross to win a crown of glory – a crown that awaits each one of us, if we, too, will follow in his footsteps.