6 August, Saturday
Readings: Dan 7:9-10, 13-14; (or) 2 Pet 1:16-19; Ps 97:1-2, 5-6, 9; Lk 9:28-36
Feast: The Transfiguration of the Lord
THIS IS MY SON, MY CHOSEN; LISTEN TO HIM
Today, the Church commemorates the feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord. It is a celebration of Christ’s glory on mount Tabor in Galilee, which is an encounter with God. Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James and John. It was a revelation of Jesus’ divine nature: “while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white” (Lk 9:29). Jesus is the ‘reflection of God’s glory and the exact print of God’s very being (Heb 1:3). For Jesus, it was a time of confirmation and affirmation of his ministry. For Peter, James, and John it was a brief glimpse of the transcendent, a peek at the reality that lies just beyond everyday life.
But notice that Jesus quickly led the disciples back down off that mountaintop – in spite of Peter’s desire to pitch a tent and camp there for a long while: “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” (Lk 9:33). But Jesus led them back into the daily routine of teaching and preaching and caring for the broken and hurting people of the world they lived in, back to the reality of life in the valley. With Jesus, they must come down from mount Tabor to the valley on to the garden of Gethsemane and Calvary.
As Jesus was transfigured, Moses and Elijah appear; the former represents the Law and the latter the prophets. Jesus is the fulfillment of both the Law and the Prophets (cf. Mt 5:17). They appeared in glory and spoke of Jesus’ salvific act that he is going to accomplish at Jerusalem (cf. Lk 9:31). While Peter was expressing his pleasure to stay there, from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my son, my Chosen; listen to him” (Lk 9:35); the reassurance of God’s words that He spoke at Jesus’ baptism (Mt 3:17; Lk 3:22); it is another affirmation of God’s love.
We must realize that we need to cling to Jesus always and in every moment of our life; not that we stay with him when everything is happy and going our way, like the three apostles desired to stay on mount Tabor pitching tents there; but the same apostle fled while Jesus was in agony in the garden of Gethsemane. We need to stay with Jesus even in our troubles and trails, in which Jesus is our strength and encouragement.