The Gospel of the Transfiguration of the Lord puts before our eyes the glory of Christ, which anticipates the resurrection and announces the divinization of man. The Greek word for “transfigured” is metemorphothe, from which metamorphosis stems from, which means transformation or conversion. Jesus’ “face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white.” (Matthew 17:2). Jesus was transfigured by His love for our Father. This reminds us of Moses at Mt. Sinai. After his encounter with God, Moses’ face shone so brightly that the people were frightened, and Moses had to wear a veil over his face (Exodus 34:29-35). Jesus is the “new Moses” who will lead and empower the people of God, where a new covenant will be established.

Peter has a character of action rather than a contemplative mind. Both action and contemplation are needed to be a true disciple of our Lord. However, it is essential to determine which is required at a given moment. There is a time for action, but there is also a time for prayer, for dwelling in the scripture, for listening and discerning, for reflection and self-examining. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).

As we enter into the second Sunday of Lent, we are invited to move away from the many noises that distract us from listening truly to Jesus, the Son of God. There are many voices that demand our attention: voices of our pride, our hurts, our restlessness and our laziness. These noisy voices deafen us to the gentle, small voice deep within that calls us, “You are my Beloved, listen, You are my Friend, follow Me.” Today’s text is an invitation to take a distance from the noisiness of everyday life in order to immerse oneself in God’s presence and not take “busy” as an excuse for avoiding a close personal relationship with God, our Father.

It is important or rather critical to listen to Jesus. The phrase “listen to him” is emphasized across the synoptic gospels, (Mark 9:7, Luke 9:35 and Matthew 3:17). How open and eager are we to listen to Jesus in our time of prayer? Many a times we preferred speaking. Likewise, in the gospel text, the voice interrupts Peter, “While he was still speaking” (Matthew 17:5), otherwise how can God get a word across? In order to listen to the voice of Jesus, we need a lot of effort on our part to be still and allow ourselves to wait patiently for His Word. In silence, He speaks. A listening heart is a heart warmed by the love of God and taught by His words. Later the disciples are instructed to “Don’t talk about it!” (Matthew 17:9). ‘Jesus knew talking too soon would only weaken the experience. Silence seems necessary to preserve the scared and the mysterious.’ – Fr Richard Rohr. Hence, we are encouraged to dwell in silence after each epiphany encounter.

The Transfiguration and the agony in Gethsemane are two of the most intimate experiences that Jesus shares with his disciples, and the same three disciples witness both. The truly alarming thing is how quickly the disciples will forget (as we too forget). Peter, James and John have seen Jesus revealed in glory, but their courage fail them at the cross. Peter will deny Jesus three times. We, too, have experienced the hand of God in our lives, but we find faith difficult when we are confronted by obstacles, and by unplanned circumstances.  Perseverance and endurance proceed us. It is thus important to remind ourselves, God’s love for us and to constantly re-enter into His embrace.

Though ‘encounter moments’ (like the disciples at the Transfiguration) do not occur often and never on demand. We all need these experiences to help us cope with the challenges of life in the valleys. We often associate these moments to some grand fireworks but if we keep our spiritual eyes open, we will find them in simpler small occurrences in our daily lives. Let us pray that we would find the glory that is present even in our struggles and pains. By doing so, will we experience transfiguration in every moments of our lives.


Love & Peace,

Faith & Patrick