The Transfiguration of the Lord
Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14
II Peter 1:16-19
Matthew 17: 1-9
Last week on vacation my older sister, and my younger brother flew out to be with my older brother in Maine. It was the first time in 45 years that we were all together. Unfortunately, my one brother could not make it, but the four of us had the best time. We did do some fishing as we all love to fish but my sister was bragging how she was going to out fish us boys. Well she did if you count catching two clams, using a spinner bait, and snagging a chub in the back, well then she won. My time with them was fantastic! The meals, the conversations, the laughter, and just being together under one roof for the first time in 45 years was a gift from God. It was a mountain top experience!
The beauty of the Transfiguration story is that it is our story. When was the last time you were over whelmed by the presence of God? Now can you think of another time? Hang onto those moments, because God’s intent is to share his glory with us and to move us to know him in the ordinary times in our lives. However, God’s intent is not to reveal Himself to us in all of his glory, and then to leave us alone.
One of the amazing lines in our story of the Transfiguration is the line that is left out, which is the line just before our story. In Matthew 16:28, Jesus says to his disciples, “Some of you will see the Son of Man coming in all of his glory.” Jesus is giving them a clue of what is to happen. When Peter, James, and John fall to the ground after Jesus was transfigured because they were afraid. Jesus came to them and said, “Rise, and do not be afraid.” Peter, James, and John would reflect on this experience many times, and this would help them makes sense of Jesus going to the cross.
The gift of the Transfiguration is to know the Kingdom of God is happening right now! Our response to the Kingdom of God in our midsts is to be transformed ourselves. What do we see when we look at ourselves? At times I see a weak, aging, balding, old guy with an expanding body? What do we see, when you look into our hearts? Do we see all the sins, we have committed and still cannot forgive ourselves, although God has forgiven us? Or do we see a new creation, redeemed and being transformed into the likeness of God?
As much as I enjoyed my time with my brothers and my sister, I could not stay on that mountain 24/7; it is not possible. The challenge to us today is to seek the glory of God being offered to us in this Holy Eucharist and take this to our ordinary lives. A huge mistake would be to leave here today unchanged, not transformed. We need to hear the Lord say to us, “Rise, and do not be afraid!”