Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord
August 6, 2022
Today, in God’ Lavish Mercy, we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord.
This is my beloved Son,
with whom I am well pleased;
listen to him.
Peter, James, and John – those whom the Lord would most heavily depend on at the time of the Crucifixion – these three were given a sacred privilege. They witnessed Christ transformed by his Divinity, shining before the Creator whose voice came down from heaven.
Icon of Transfiguration by Alexander Ainetdinov
Peter’s account in today’s second reading might seem almost too much to believe. Yet, Peter’s very human telling of the event is most convincing. He doesn’t wax eloquent about how privileged the three were. He simply describes the event and says, “We were terrified.” — as indeed we all might be if we came face to face with God’s glory.
Perhaps they received this gift in order to bolster them through the Passion and Death of Christ, or to open their hearts to believe in the Resurrection. These men were the key leaders who would pick up the message of Jesus when it appeared to fall to the earth at the foot of Cross. They needed a deeply confirmed faith.
So do we. We face a lot of faith-sapping realities in our world. And God does give us “Transfiguration Moments” too – times when the thin veil of hard reality is lifted and we glimpse the face of God. These moments may come at the birth of a child, the devotion of a beloved, the majesty of nature, the simplicity of silence, the deliverance from harm, the momentary awareness that our breath belongs to God.
We must savor and store these Lights, like the three disciples did, to strengthen ourselves for the shadows. As Peter says in his epistle:
… we possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable.
You will do well to be attentive to it,
as to a lamp shining in a dark place,
until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
Poetry: Transfiguration – 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 by Carey Landry
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.