Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and 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 one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. ”He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.
As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead could mean.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
What is Christ’s desire for us, here and now? It is that we be filled with His faith, hope and love, thereby reconciling us with God as we were originally created to be. Moses and Elijah, the law giver and the prophet, worked as servants of God to this same end. On the mountainside at the moment of the transfiguration, they appeared as having been glorified in Christ – our very hope.
Our hope is in Christ, through what Christ accomplished on the cross and what we participate in now. We offer ourselves to God the Father, along with Christ, as gifts on the altar. But the radiance of Christ and his servants, Moses and Elijah, is a sign that we may have cause for joy in the present, even when facing terrible circumstances. We may boldly shine with the light of Christ because He has gone before us, making our light the light of the world.
May we be caught up in Christ’s brilliance, in awe of it yet drawn to it and illuminated by it. May our joy in the hope of Christ shine as an inspiration to others, as comfort in difficult times. May our faith in the One keep us from the shadows and propel us up the mountain toward our Lord. And may our love for Christ keep us close to Him and imitate His love for us as we offer aid to our neighbor. As Saint Peter said, “It is good to be here.”
—Fr. John Brown, S.J.
Lord, how remarkable for Peter, James, and John to see you transfigured in radiant light. And to hear the tender words of God Almighty, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” Did Peter and James forget this miracle when the Romans arrested Jesus? Could they not recall the voice of God Almighty so loving and so clear in the request “To listen to him”?
When their worlds began to fall apart, their memories of the Lord became unreachable and only fear and disillusionment pressed upon their thoughts. Perhaps, Lord, we need to be less accusatory of ourselves when we doubt you and forgot the times you intervened in our lives. Help us to move forward by forgiving ourselves and by trusting that you will surprise us by the ways you intervene in this very day.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team