In the dog days of summer (in the northern hemisphere), who wouldn’t like to climb a high mountain where it’s cool and refreshing? When Peter, James, and John were invited by Jesus to go up a “high mountain,” they were not prepared for what would occur and for where the journey would lead. Something new was going to happen.
Coming halfway through the period of Ordinary Time, the Transfiguration grants us a moment of enlightenment when we see Jesus clearly in all his glory and hear God tell us who Jesus is (“my beloved Son”). This revelation strengthens our resolve to continue listening to whatever Jesus has to tell us (“listen to him”), and encourages us to continue walking with him to Jerusalem where “the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” Because of the Transfiguration, we can see what is entirely new in where we are going, we can hear how we are to get there, we can follow fearlessly the One who leads us.
In face of Jesus’ transfiguration, the disciples “were very much afraid.” Perhaps they were afraid of losing what was familiar to them from of old. Perhaps they were afraid because they had an inkling that this new journey presents formidable challenges. If we are to enter into Jesus’ glorification, then we must be open to a transfiguration of ourselves, of our lives, of our own destiny. We must let go of our own limited vision and horizons and “listen to” Jesus opening up for us the uncharted territory of remarkable compassion and mercy,
forgiveness and care, love and humility. We must allow Jesus to transfigure us.
Image: “Transfiguration,” by Charles Emerson