This is my beloved Son!

This is my beloved Son, hear him ~ Mt 17:5

The Transfiguration – Lent 2023

We continue our Lenten journey, now to the top of a mountain. Last week we joined Jesus in the Desert, where we began the 40-day journey side by side with Jesus. While in the desert, Jesus faced temptations, just as we do, and chose to depend on his Father, through the Word of God and the Spirit of God, just as we can.

Today we followed Jesus up Mount Tabor, to a place of prayer and reflection. It was here that Christ was transfigured in front of the three whom Jesus took with him – Peter, James, and John, his inner circle, those to whom he revealed himself and asked for their confidence in him.

The Transfiguration of the Lord is recounted in the Gospels and in religious art. This moment on the mountain gives the disciples an awesome glimpse of the glory of God. Again, as I sat in mass today, I tried to imagine what that moment was like. Then it struck me, the first time my power went out in the past two weeks, a transformer blew up in my backyard – the light was brilliant and there for a moment. It took my breath away. Afterwards, I sat in complete darkness wondering what had happened, but knowing what had happened.

Perhaps the moment was similar for the disciples – Peter jumping into practical matters, like making Moses and Elijah comfortable, to the voice from the cloud saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him”, to Jesus reassuring them not to worry, touching them saying, “Rise and do not be afraid.”

That’s just so much to take in.  All in that blinding moment. But then after that moment, the disciples were told that it was time to come down off the mountain and rejoin everyday life, as a changed person, ready to receive the Lord. God gave us something to hold on to – He knows that we need something that will bring us closer to Him, so he unveils heaven to the disciples and gives them a glimpse of his glory and the reminder of eternal life.

On our own journeys, we will come across some events in our lives that we will not understand, and some of those will be painful and involve hardship or injustices. Through the example of Peter, James, and John, we can see that listening, trusting, and waiting will bring us out of the desert and down the mountain. God is good and God is trustworthy. Whatever happens in our lives, the longer and closer with walk with the Lord, the more will be revealed to us and it will be wondrous and worth the wait.

Let us pray,

Jesus, how good it is to be here with you. Let us never lose sight of your glory, no matter how much darkness may press on me. Let me live in your presence forever. Amen.