Sunday, August 6
Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord
Matthew 17: 1 – 9
Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother, John,
and led them up a high mountain by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them;
his face shone like the sun
and his clothes became white as light.
And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them,
conversing with him.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
“Lord, it is good that we are here.
If you wish, I will make three tents here,
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
While he was still speaking, behold,
a bright cloud cast a shadow over them,
then from the cloud came a voice that said,
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased;
listen to him.”
When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate
and were very much afraid.
But Jesus came and touched them, saying,
“Rise, and do not be afraid.”
And when the disciples raised their eyes,
they saw no one else but Jesus alone.
As they were coming down from the mountain,
Jesus charged them,
“Do not tell the vision to anyone
until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
Each year we hear the story of the Transfiguration twice – once on the Second Sunday of Lent and then we hear it again on August 6th. When this event took place, it was shortly after Peter’s confession of faith that Jesus is the Messiah and it was about one week after Jesus told his disciples that He would suffer, be killed, and be raised to life.
The purpose for the transfiguration was so Jesus’ disciples could gain a greater understanding of who He was. Christ underwent a dramatic change in appearance on the mountain in order that the disciples could behold Him in His glory. This gave them the reassurance they needed after hearing the shocking news of His coming death.
The Transfiguration of the Lord is an extraordinary Feast of hope which can help us to live differently. We are invited, by reflecting on this significant event in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, to focus on the end of the Christian life. Just as the disciples lived their lives no longer for themselves but for Jesus, they began to undergo their own trials and walked the way to their own transfiguration. This is meant to become the path for all of us who bear His name.
The Lord Jesus has shown us the way up the mountain. He has invited us into a new way of living in Him through living within the communion of the Church. As we reflect on the Transfiguration of Jesus today, and in the days to come, let us enter more deeply into the mystery it reveals by living in the Transfiguration now. Let us ascend the mountain of the Lord and transform our lives by following Jesus in His glory!
Deacon Paul Zemanek