Feast of the Transfiguration

Today the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. The Transfiguration is one of the events recorded in all three of the Synoptic Gospels; our Gospel today is St. Mark’s account of the event.

Mark tells us that when Jesus led Peter, James and John to a high mountain, “he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.”  The disciples see Jesus in all of his divine glory, getting a glimpse of the resurrected Jesus and seeing him in conversation with Elijah and Moses. After that, a cloud came over them, and from the cloud they heard God’s voice saying, “This is my beloved Son.  Listen to him.”

Now that sort of thing doesn’t just happen every day. Even for Jesus’ friends, who were used to seeing him do some amazing things, this must have been an extraordinary thing to behold. You might even expect it to be life-changing.

But, no. Peter, James and John come down off the mountain, and James and John still worry about whether they are going to get to sit at Jesus’ right hand, Peter still denies him and they still all run away when Jesus is crucified. 

I want to criticize them for their slowness, but I also have to realize that I am a lot like them. I’ve had some incredible experiences of God on retreat, in prayer and at other times. I’ve had experiences that have caused me to
marvel at what God has revealed of Godself, feeling like nothing will ever be the same. And, while at some level it is not the same, suffice it to say that occasions arise where I’ll think or do or say something that seems completely inconsistent with the revelations I have experienced.

So on the Feast of the Transfiguration, I pray, continue to reveal yourself to me, Lord. And let me thoughts, words and deeds more and more mirror that revelation.