Monday, August 6, 2012

The Transfiguration as Reality

Monday: 6 August, 2012 –– 18th Week in Ordinary Time
The Transfiguration of the Lord
Daniel 7:9–10, 13–14 / 2 Peter 1:16–19 / Mark 9:2–10
The Transfiguration as Reality
The Transfiguration always triggers in my mind the phrase, a brief picture of reality.  I often think of things the world around us presents as “reality.” People are obsessed with circumstantial pleasure, convinced that is the way to happiness.  We also seem to think that the big threats in life — the weakness of poverty and physical limitations and what is assumed to be the finality of death — are the most horrific things possible.  How can we dare believe anything differently? Christian Faith says the reason is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yet how can a “modern mind” dare believe this is true? The Transfiguration offers us a picture of the bigger truth.

When Jesus was on earth, what people saw when they looked upon the Incarnate Son of Man was.... a man. Sometimes they saw him do some amazing things, but he was still a man who dressed like them, ate like them, walked the roads and paths like them.... a man who the Scriptures and the Church confess to be fully human.  But one day — one time on one particular day — three of the disciples had their world expanded. Peter, James and John saw his glory as he was transfigured before them: his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. This “brief picture of reality” helped lay a foundation for understanding the greater reality to follow in the crucifixion and resurrection. Peter gave this clear witness and exhortation in his second letter:
....we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty....when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain....
Jesus let three of his disciples see his glory once during those ministry days. It was enough to pave the way for a Faith that would change the world. We can believe today because there is a credible eyewitness record that has been established as an Apostolic Rule of Faith. Peter and John both wrote that they saw.... and they testified that these things are true.... and then they lived — in such a contrasting way to who they previously were — so that people looking at them took notice that they had been with Jesus.
The Transfiguration calls us — warmly and powerfully invites us — to “see” the glory of God. The glories of this world do not last. The threats of this world do not have the last word. There is a glory promised to all who follow Jesus.... a glory that was fully realized in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Those who follow Jesus will know the power of the resurrection — the glory of the Son which is the inheritance of all who belong to him — but not apart from, first, the cross with the accompanying darkness of not having everything yet fully visible. Christians live in the hope of glory, knowing that Jesus is the way. On this day when we are reminded of the Transfiguration, I commend to you this this brief picture of reality.

No comments:

Site Meter