Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.
As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead could mean.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus’ appearance was transformed, and his clothing became dazzling white. All this brilliance was then overshadowed by a cloud – and it is from the cloud that a voice was heard: “This is my Son, the Beloved, listen to him.” Might the cloud be a reminder that there’s more to life than mountain top experiences?
This fleeting occurrence of Jesus’ transfiguration was a clear exception to the daily common place encounters with Jesus experienced by the apostles. In our own faith life, we are more likely to encounter Jesus as disfigured in the flawed human beings we meet on a daily basis and even in our own selves. Yet, every man, woman and child, bears the divine image and so bears within an inestimable dignity.
When I encounter Christ in others, what might I hear when I “listen” to God’s beloved Son in the faces of the homeless and rejected among us?
—Sister Ruth Hoerig is a writer and co-editor of Alive magazine and social media content developer for the School Sisters of St. Francis. She is author of Seeds of Hope: Catholic Sisters in Action Around the World.
God of Glory, as you broke through the world of your early disciples, so break through to us. As a community of faith, show us where your glory is to be found, not only on the mountaintop, but on our streets and in our homes. Open our eyes to see the poor and the homeless as mirrors of your beauty and your suffering. Help us not to shrink from working with the less fortunate and broken-hearted.
Let us work for a world transfigured in the glory of God’s Kingdom, reaching out to victims of war, violence and human trafficking. Show us how to live our daily lives in such a way that others can experience your peace, justice, love and forgiveness. Amen.
—Sister Ruth Hoerig
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