St. Leo the Great said in a sermon … In this mystery of the Transfiguration, God’s Providence has laid a solid foundation for the hope of the Church, so that the whole body of Christ may know what a transformation will be granted to it, and that the members may be assured that they will be sharers in the glory which shone forth in their Head.
God revealed more fully, to us, in the Transfiguration, the Sonship of Jesus. And , by grace we see, revealed in Jesus, our own sonship. We are sons of God; we are disciples or followers of Jesus. Jesus is Son by nature; he is truly God; we are sons by grace.
By grace we are sons; but is this sonship complete?
God’s grace is still at work within us and we, too, have to do our part.
Oh, my, that is daunting. Do I always do my part? Even when I am sad? Even when I feed my sadness with food, handfuls of peanuts and a cup of chocolate ice cream; two squares of chocolate; a piece of crusty bread with vegemite?
What is this, a litany of comfort food and not a litany of prayer?
Yes, I am a son of God, a disciple of Jesus. God has put his seal on me, I am adopted as a son. But I need, we need, to persevere in faith throughout life…to be obedient…even at cost.
St Peter, at the Transfiguration, did not quite see this at first, did he? We, too, don’t always see the need for obedience and perseverance in faith, especially we in the post modern age. We who feel we have information at our tips and can make our own judgments and decisions, perhaps discounting the counsel of others. of those to whom we should listen and consider, our spiritual directors, our Bishops.
Peter did not yet understand this when he wanted to remain with Christ on the mountain. It has been reserved for you, Peter, but for after death. For now, Jesus says: “Go down to toil on earth, to serve on earth, to be scorned and crucified on earth. Life goes down to be killed; Bread goes down to suffer hunger; the Way goes down to be exhausted on his journey; the Spring goes down to suffer thirst; and you refuse to suffer?” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 556)
We (still) have work to do here, on this earth, on ourselves, with those we love, even with those whom we may find hard to love at this time…
The Transfiguration, then, is a solemnity of hope. God has made us His children, we can more fully understand the relationship of God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost. With this knowledge and understanding, we can build our relationship with the Trinity. We can grow in love and in faith and in obedience.
We are partakers of the eternal inheritance.
On the Transfiguration, I can revel in the, yes, old fashioned word that it is, in the splendour of the transfigured Lord. And come to know Him more fully. And thus come to know myself. And my calling.
As I pray at mass tonight, as I receive the Eucharist, I can be transformed. By God’s grace and Love. By the virtue of the sacrament.
As I receive Our Lord in the sacrament, my heart and soul can be transfigured, transfigured by God’s glory, by His Presence, His Gift, His Life, His Love.
No one, however, is permitted to live “on Tabor” while on earth. Indeed, human existence is a journey of faith and as such, moves ahead more in shadows than in full light, and is no stranger to moments of obscurity and also of complete darkness. While we are on this earth, our relationship with God takes place more by listening than by seeing; and the same contemplation comes about, so to speak, with closed eyes, thanks to the interior light that is kindled in us by the Word of God.