17 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. 2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. 3 Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4 Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5 While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. 7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” 8 And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone. 9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
Fr. Sam Explains…
Why did Jesus only take Peter, James and John up on to the mountain? Why not his best friends, Lazarus and Mary Magdalene? Or how about his Mum? After all this is the moment of His glory, the moment he reveals himself as true God. I guess it’s the same reason he only took these 3 men into his darkest hour also in the Garden of Olives – the most difficult night of his life: They are his Priests. They might not be his favourite, they may deny him (Peter), they may run away (James) or they may be the really faithful (John), but none the less, they are his Priests. He reveals to them, fallen as they are, his most intimate moments; his greatest joy and his greatest sorrow. Why?
Because they too (and every priest after them) will present the Transfiguration of Jesus through the Eucharist at every Mass throughout the world. In the Sacraments they administer, they present Christ in his agony to those who suffer: drawing them closer into His heart. They draw down Christ from heaven, as night falls on day.
Peter, James, John, all of them were someone’s son. When I entered the seminary aged 21 the reaction from my family was mixed. Parents – please do not underestimate the importance of praying for vocations within your own family – so that this manifestation of such goodness, of such truth, of such light, may set fire to the earth forever and ever.
A Family Perspective…
Depending on where we are in our relationship with Jesus, the Transfiguration will tell us different things. We may be just at the beginning – interested in Jesus, but not really knowing who He is. We might be at the point of realisation that Jesus IS the son of God and feel totally dazzled and overcome just like Peter, James and John. We might be in the honeymoon period where we are just beginning to fall in love with Jesus – and want to remain within this very strong feeling – not wanting to come down from the mountain.
But as our relationship matures, we realise that if we are to be true disciples of Jesus, we do have to come down from the mountain because there is work to do. The Transfiguration was just a foretaste of the eternal glory of the Resurrection. And before we get to the Resurrection, we have to face the Cross.
This is so true of many situations in our own lives: before we get to hold our glorious new-born baby, we have to sacrifice our bodies through 9 hard months of pregnancy, and then labour, and then birth! Before we can find the glory of peace and harmony in our marriage, we have to sacrifice parts of ourselves that we took for granted as single people. Before we see the glory of our children growing into strong independent adults, we have to put in years of love, patience and sacrifice.
Whatever crosses we find ourselves facing, we can be assured that we will be asked to suffer in some way – but within the context of Christianity, that suffering has meaning and purpose. And eventually, the cross we find ourselves carrying will end and be replaced by the glory of the resurrection.
Thought for the week…
WE HAVE TO GO THROUGH THE CROSS, TO GET TO THE RESURRECTION.
Let the reality of your Resurrection give me the strength I need to get through my Crosses in life.
Thank You, I love You Jesus. Amen.