Reflection on the Transfiguration
“Sometimes it seems we're standing on tiptoe. Sometimes it seems the future is now. Sometimes the holy hush of God's presence comes and then leaves us wondering how. Sometimes it seems we're caught up to heaven. Or is it heaven that comes to us here? Sometimes it seems that just for a moment things that are hidden are suddenly clear. Glimpses of glory….glimpses of glory…”
(song by Bryan Leech)
Jesus, who often went off by himself to pray, today takes Peter, James, and John with him. Six days ago they were deeply shaken when Jesus told them he would be undergoing great suffering and be put to death. Now he is transfigured before them, shining like the sun, and they are told: “This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him.” This affirmation of the Father must have sustained Jesus in the difficult days ahead as this glimpse of glory given to Peter, James, and John was to strengthen them for all that was to come.
While we may not have a mountaintop experience such as described in today’s gospel, we are gifted with glimpses of glory in our everyday lives. Back in the 60’s, captivated by Teilhard de Chardin’s Hymn of the Universe, I sat by the lakeshore in early morning. There, like Teilhard, alone at sunrise, I was deeply moved as the sun spread its orange and red across the horizon...an unforgettable glimpse of glory that impressed on me the truth of divine beauty at the heart of all creation and fanned into flame my desire for a deeper relationship with God.
Jesus’ transfiguration has been called an icon of hope, beauty, and possibility, revealing the transformation God desires for each of us. Yes, we were created to share in divine life and to radiate that life, love, and beauty in our world. During times of silent and deep prayer and as we go about our daily lives, God gradually changes us, giving us glimpses of glory to nourish and encourage us along the way. “Lord, it is good that we are here!”