Become What You Behold

Today is the Feast of the Transfiguration. St. Luke’s Gospel (which we hear in today’s Mass) records that Jesus took three of his disciples up a mountain to pray and that while he was praying “his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white.” St. Matthew says that “he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light.”

The event surely had significance for Jesus, helping affirm him and his mision as he turned his face toward Jerusalem. It also surely had significance for his disciples, who heard the voice of God telling them, “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”

The the event also has significance for us. As the Magnificat reflection for the day says

Christ’s Tabor radiance is a kind of mirror in which we glimpse the glory that God wills to give his friends. The resplendence of the Transfiguration reveals the fullness of life destined to be ours. The Transfiguration invites us to configuration. As we peer into the glory that pours from every pore of the transfigured Christ, we cast off everything unworthy of our personal relationship with the Infinite, and we take on the luster of the Son of God. … Silently from Tabor’s splendor, the Savior begs, “Become what you behold!”

Become what you behold! Words that date from a sermon given by St. Augustine on the Eucharist. And, indeed, this is the same invitation we are offered each time we receive the Eucharist: to become what we behold.

This day is a special reminder to us of what God has in store for us, of the “fullness of life destined to be ours.” All we need to is accept the invitation.