Friday, August 6, 2021
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration, that moment when the Godly glory of Jesus shone in all its splendor before a few very blessed disciples.
On that blessed day, Peter, James and John went with Jesus to a “very high mountain”. Many scholars identify the site as Mt. Tabor, where the Franciscan Church of the Transfiguration is today.
Some theologians suggest that these three disciples were afforded this magnificent gift so that their faith would be sufficiently strengthened to endure the coming sufferings.
“Transfiguration” is a word without a true synonym. It is a unique experience for a being to be completely infused with the glory of God. When this happened to Jesus, something equally unique happened to Peter, James and John as well. They too became new beings, never the same after that glorious and -yes- shocking moment.
Once they descended that mountain, everything changed. In a sense, they too had been “transfigured”. They had seen Jesus clearly in the beauty of his Godliness, and they would now see everything else in that Light.
Sometimes in our lives, God gives us “mini-transfigurations”. Something we had seen only in ordinary terms suddenly becomes an insight into the sacred. It may be a person, a situation, a natural phenomenon. We see through the external trappings and find the glorious Face of God.
Jesus invites us to experience this kind of soul-change by loving God in the poor, sick, uneducated, displaced, suffering, stigmatized people of this world. He asks us to be with them, in word and deed, and to allow God’s light in them to change our hearts and souls.
Poetry: Transfigured – Malcolm Guite
For that one moment, ‘in and out of time’,
On that one mountain where all moments meet,
The daily veil that covers the sublime
In darkling glass fell dazzled at his feet.
There were no angels full of eyes and wings
Just living glory full of truth and grace.
The Love that dances at the heart of things
Shone out upon us from a human face
And to that light the light in us leaped up,
We felt it quicken somewhere deep within,
A sudden blaze of long-extinguished hope
Trembled and tingled through the tender skin.
Nor can this blackened sky, this darkened scar
Eclipse that glimpse of how things really are.
Music: Transfiguration/We Behold the Splendor of God – Carey Landry (Lyrics below)
We behold the splendor of God shining on the face of Jesus.
We behold the splendor of God shining on the face of the Son.
And oh, how his beauty transforms us, the wonder of presence abiding.
Transparent hearts give reflection of Tabor’s light within, of Tabor’s light within.
Jesus, Lord of Glory, Jesus, Beloved Son, oh, how good to be with you;
how good to share your light; how good to share your light