Luke 9: 28-36
Jesus in His Glory
About eight days after saying this, he climbed the mountain to pray, taking Peter, John, and James along. While he was in prayer, the appearance of his face changed and his clothes became blinding white. At once two men were there talking with him. They turned out to be Moses and Elijah—and what a glorious appearance they made! They talked over his exodus, the one Jesus was about to complete in Jerusalem.
Meanwhile, Peter and those with him were slumped over in sleep. When they came to, rubbing their eyes, they saw Jesus in his glory and the two men standing with him. When Moses and Elijah had left, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, this is a great moment! Let’s build three memorials: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He blurted this out without thinking.
While he was babbling on like this, a light-radiant cloud enveloped them. As they found themselves buried in the cloud, they became deeply aware of God. Then there was a voice out of the cloud: “This is my Son, the Chosen! Listen to him.”
When the sound of the voice died away, they saw Jesus there alone. They were speechless. And they continued speechless, said not one thing to anyone during those days of what they had seen.
When I was little, I remember being fascinated by the transfiguration. I wasn’t sure what glory really was, and it was all pretty mystifying, but I could picture the scene vividly, with Jesus praying on the mountain, and then his disciples seeing the man they knew change into something dazzling, that takes their breath away. My focus used to be on that amazing and visible change – a moment when the disciples were able to see that Jesus, their friend and teacher, was the son of God.
As I’ve got older, I’ve also looked more at Peter, and identified with him quite a bit. I love his human frailty, and the fact that this doesn’t prevent Jesus from seeing his true value, and trusting him, despite his mistakes. While Jesus is praying, and this phenomenal moment is beginning, Peter is asleep (though, to be fair, he’s not the only one). When he wakes and sees what a hugely significant event he is witnessing, Peter gets over-excited and ends up misplacing his focus. and saying exactly the wrong thing. Yet this doesn’t stop God from revealing the Truth to him and sharing a moment of divine closeness. This reading reminds me that Jesus came to save sinners, including those of us who mean well but don’t quite get it at first.
Jesus being transfigured gives us the hope that ultimately, we all will – and that’s pretty breathtaking.
Salesian Communications Staff
God our Father
Help me to see your true nature in the world around me.
Strengthen my faith when I think of the image of Jesus, your son, shining in glory, before the suffering he endured for each of us.
Remind me of the power of prayer to reach you, and of your infinite patience with me when I don’t quite understand how you are working in my life. Give me the grace of moments that take my breath away.