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
Indeed, something happened on that mountain. Jesus’ transfiguration revealed more of his divine nature and showed his relationship with the holy prophets of old.
But something also happened to the disciples. They too were transfigured, transformed. Their hearts and minds were opened up to a deeper reality of Jesus’ incarnational identity: not just the everyday Jesus in the flesh, but Jesus who is fully divine. Perhaps the greater transfiguration—of mind and heart—was with these disciples. In a surprising way they saw another aspect of Jesus; they experienced God in their midst, through Jesus the Christ. They became more conscious of who Jesus really is.
That is the purpose and intent of praying the Ignatian Examen of Consciousness: to open up our hearts and minds to God’s active presence in our world. To see messy details of our world transfigured with the grandeur of God’s vision for creation.
—Fr. Glen Chun, S.J. is a campus ministry chaplain at Loyola University Chicago, IL, as well as the peripatetic minister of the Loyola University Jesuit community.
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
—Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.