In a Light-Radiant Cloud
Six days later, three of them did see it. Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain. His appearance changed from the inside out, right before their eyes. His clothes shimmered, glistening white, whiter than any bleach could make them. Elijah, along with Moses, came into view, in deep conversation with Jesus.
Peter interrupted, “Rabbi, this is a great moment! Let’s build three memorials—one for you, one for Moses, one for Elijah.” He blurted this out without thinking, stunned as they all were by what they were seeing.
Just then a light-radiant cloud enveloped them, and from deep in the cloud, a voice: “This is my Son, marked by my love. Listen to him.”
The next minute the disciples were looking around, rubbing their eyes, seeing nothing but Jesus, only Jesus.
Coming down the mountain, Jesus swore them to secrecy. “Don’t tell a soul what you saw. After the Son of Man rises from the dead, you’re free to talk.” They puzzled over that, wondering what on earth “rising from the dead” meant.
Jesus was both human and divine - the only son of God. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that. We know him as the second person of the Trinity, the person we pray to and through, and who we receive in the Eucharist.
For the disciples, it was probably the opposite. They were used to seeing, talking to and touching Jesus the living person; a real, flesh-and-blood human being, but one who could do amazing things. Imagine what they must have thought on that mountain top, seeing the man they knew so well take on a totally different appearance – even his clothes glowing with a supernatural whiteness – and standing with some of the most holy figures of their faith. Think of the impact of hearing God’s voice describing their remarkable friend and teacher as “my son”.
Their faith in him had made them follow Jesus, and stay with him. They had heard his teaching and seen him working miracles, but did they really understand who he was? Peter had said he was the Son of God, and others had agreed with him, but on the mountain, they were given a brief glimpse of who Jesus really was, and they heard God the Father’s instruction that they should listen to him.
Lent is a time when we try to get closer to Jesus, and to understand his message more deeply. Looking through the disciples’ eyes as Jesus is briefly revealed as the son of God in all his glory, is a reminder to us that he was also fully human, and when he suffered and died, he felt the worry and pain we would feel. He understands our problems, our suffering and our fears, so we can talk to him about them. He cares about us, and he can advise and guide us if we listen to what he has to say.
Salesian Communications Worker
This Lent, help us find time to be still.
Give us the peace and quiet we need,
to listen to your words.
Give us the light we need
to see where you are guiding us.
Give us the courage we need
to follow the path you show us.