Fri 5 Aug, 2011
Tags: Apostles, Benedictine Sisters, Feast, James, John, Peter, Sister Sophia, Transfiguration
Transfiguration by Raphael
Tomorrow is the Feast of the Transfiguration, and Sister Sophia shares her thoughts on this special day….
What a gift God has given us in Jesus Christ. What an opportunity God has extended to us, giving us the ability to be transformed by grace throughout our lives. God is patient, slow to anger and abounding in mercy (Ps 103: 8). Our transfiguration will take a lifetime. For Jesus, it happened much quicker.
Revelations, epiphanies, and signs are all part of the lived tradition and history of the Catholic Church. Saturday we commemorate one more – the Transfiguration of the Lord. Since the 1450s, Aug. 6 marks the day the Catholic Church celebrates this feast.
The Synoptic gospels echo one another and say that on an occasion after Jesus has revealed the way of death for himself, he took Peter, James and John up a “high mountain” and was transfigured before them. He became brilliant white, shining as a bright light. His “face shone like the sun and his clothing became white as light” (Mt 17: 2). Then there was a voice from the cloud that said, “Listen to Him.” (Mk 9: 7).
Peter, James and John were the inner circle of Jesus’ friends. Jesus trusted in them and they trusted their master. Right before the journey up the mountain, Peter confessed that Jesus was the Messiah (Mk 8:29). The three men were filled with great love for Jesus and with deep faith in His message. Jesus was the united message of the Law and the prophets. He was the One that was long awaited, the hope of the world. He was the one true Word. Peter, James and John believed.
Yet, they still doubted, and Jesus knew. This great sign of God’s powerful love is a sign for all humanity. Believe and live. Listen to me. Peter, James and John had the capacity to hear, to have their hearts stirred. Their faith was confirmed and they were stunned. We love these three disciples because we all know they were not perfect. Yet, God gifted them with this revelation, just as Moses was gifted on Mount Horeb with the burning bush (Ex 3:1-4).
Jesus’ transfiguration is a sign of great magnitude. This act of love can strengthen faith if one but believes. The Lord’s Transfiguration is also a prelude to our own when nothing will stand between us and the One whom we wholeheartedly trust and love. On that day, we too will shine like brilliant light as the Trinity’s love reveals our true being.