On that Mountain, Jesus revealed before mortal eyes the Transcendent Truth of who He is – and who Peter, James and John …and each one of us – will become in Him. They were invited to exercise their freedom and embrace the path that He had prepared.
Peter would write of this experience:
“His divine power has bestowed on us everything that makes for life and devotion, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and power. Through these, he has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature, after escaping from the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire.
“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love….
“We did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that unique declaration came to him from the majestic glory, “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.” (2 Peter 1)
John used this event of the Transfiguration as a lens through which he gave the early Christians a deeper insight into their difficulties, struggles and mission.
“See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure, as he is pure.” (1 John 3)
From the earliest centuries, the Christian Church emphasized the centrality of the Transfiguration of the Lord. Our experience of our life in the Lord – and in His Church – is only the beginning of what is to come in the kingdom. However, our life is already a participation in that new reality.
The Church, in the words of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council, is a seed of the kingdom to come. Our life within the Church is a participation in the eternal realities of the life to come in a new heaven and a new earth – that begins in the here and now. The commemoration of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ invites us to reflect on what this all can mean for us – right now.
As we reflect on the Transfiguration of Jesus, let us enter more deeply into the mystery it reveals by living in the Transfiguration now. It truly is good for us to be here.
Let us draw encouragement from the account of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ and respond to the invitations of grace in our daily lives in order to grow more fully into the Image and likeness of Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord revealing His Transfigured glory to a world waiting to be born anew.