The Transfigured Lord makes manifest and clear his Divinity. The glory of God radiates through him. Mark writes, “And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became a dazzlingly white, such as no one on earth could bleach them.” Jesus Christ is “perfectly God and perfectly human” as the Nicene Creed teaches. His Transfiguration before Peter, James and John is for them and for us today. On the one hand, he reveals his full person both human and Divine. He also, in God’s glory radiating through himself, gives to us an indication, a hint of the promise offered to his disciples, to us. As his disciples, through his grace, we too in our Christian lives can radiate the glory of God. St. Paul describes this in another passage from Galatians: “I have been crucified with Christ, and I live now not with my own life but with the life of Christ who lives in me.” If this is his promise offered to us, then how do we receive it?
At the end of this week’s gospel, Jesus “ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.” This is the clue for us and how to receive the promise the Lord has given to us in the Transfiguration. In order to be a disciple who radiates the glory of God, we must first observe, understand and receive the gift of his crucifixion and resurrection. To understand with mind and heart his crucifixion and resurrection is to understand in one’s being the incomprehensible love of God. It is to know what the words of St. Paul mean to our hearts: “If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else?” The love of God becomes for the Christian the single most important, most influential and most foundational power in one’s life. It is his love that opens or hearts to believe our significance for God, to see our place in God’s vision. The joy of the follower of the Lord and his/her generosity flows from this incomprehensible gift.
I think it is more helpful to receive Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross not as “because of us” but rather “for us.” In this way the giving of his love is most tangible and understandable for us. Peter thought that the pleasure and gift God was giving in the Transfiguration was to be owned and possessed by him and the two other disciples. But the Lord began to walk down the mountain, began to walk to his Passion and Resurrection. He left the mountain to do who he is, he left to love us. To receive his love is to radiate God’s glory. We live our faith when we share his glory, that is, his love, with the world. “’Which is the first of all the commandments?’ Jesus replied, ‘This is the first: Listen, Israel, the Lord our God is the one Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You must love your neighbour as yourself.’” To be his disciple is to radiate his glory, to radiate his love.
God Bless and Take Care,